Patty Dickson Pieczka

A Walk at Dawn
          — Heat Wave Day 20

Morning sun squeezes color
from its tube, paints the street
this luminous crimson gold,

ignites trees with life,
blood, passion, flares
thoughts of the earth melting.

Cardinals flit
from my neighbor’s hair.
A penny flames on the sidewalk.

Sunrise trails me home,
stains our moon-tinted floor
with red footprints, droplets of light.

You comb stars from your hair,
night’s cloak slipping down your arms,
eyes still waning.



By the side of the road,
wind riffles a book’s pages,
coughs out a man,
his ancient plague-mask
an evil bird.

With a G-minor voice,
he says, Hills of poppies
will mesmerize some,
fill their mouths with honey,
while words swarm and sting,
echo the valley as hungry bees.

Sun will scratch stripes
across barley fields,
igniting them.
He sees gold in the fire
and walks through it,
spreading the flames.

As he dissolves, letter-shaped
ashes crumble back into his book.
Wind smudges the pavement.

© Patty Dickson Pieczka

Patty Dickson Pieczka‘s third book, Beyond the Moon’s White Claw won the David Martinson — Meadowhawk Prize from Red Dragonfly Press (2018). Her second book, Painting the Egret’s Echo, won the Library of Poetry Book Award from The Bitter Oleander (2012). Her work has won several contests for individual poems and has been in more than 50 journals. Visit at

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