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Patty Dickson Pieczka

Home Remedies

Beneath a Ghost-Mooned Sky

Home Remedies

If your heart falls
through an abyss of stars, your
pockets filled with night, steam
chicory, broom and angelica tea.

St. John's wort bears you
over jagged teeth of evening,
lifts you from the thrumming
tongues of your thoughts.

Milkweed repels nightmares and stills
the fears that clack in the wind.
Burdock shrinks cancer, the moon's
guiding hand on your sleeve.

For an aphrodisiac, gather mangrove
fed by semen of a hanged man
from beneath the gallows plank.
You will walk like a whisper

through your man's dreams,
though if you need an antidote;
fleabane and cinquefoil drive
stalkers from your door.

But never taste the bloodroot.
Here is the sticky flavor
of loss, the rattle
death makes when it touches life.

It holds you somewhere
between five finger grass
and lizard bones, between
the last three stars and dawn.

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Beneath a Ghost-Mooned Sky

There's something mournful
in the woods tonight — a coyote's
breath through the high grass,
the snake sliding over
a creaking branch, lost
moments between the owl's calls.

In this empty space
I search for compassion
and wonder if the land
forgives spring storms
its grief of deep ruts
and tree-fall, if this stream
feels rock's slow loss.  

I pour bittersweet August
into my opened wounds
and pray for light,
tear the night's fears
into tiny black pieces
for the breeze to hold.

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Patty Dickson Pieczka's second book, Painting the Egret's Echo, won the Library of Poetry Book Award from The Bitter Oleander (2012). Other books are Lacing Through Time (Bellowing Ark Press, 2011) and a chapbook, Word Paintings (Snark, 2002). She won the Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest in the Best Sonnet category (2014), first prize in the 2012 Illinois Poetry Society contest as well as the Frances Locke Memorial Award (2010). She graduated in Creative Writing at SIU. Writing has appeared in many journals such as Bluestem, Green Hills Literary Lantern,, and Willow Review. Her novel, Finding the Raven, was released in June, 2016 by Ravenswood Publishing.Her website is

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