Green Hills Literary Lantern



Garage Sale



Frayed shawls and lace

spill over box rims.

Her table is cluttered

with dishes, ladles,

lamps whose fringe

is faded and sparse.


But she won't barter.

In ripped wicker she sees

a basket of sunlight

from fifty years past.

Her husband's finger

prints still hold

this copper-veined lighter.


She sifts through an ashtray -

the clack of buttons: ivory,

silver, cherry wood, listens

to their shapes; each

whispering hints

of her intimate secrets.


She won't haggle over

a torn dresser scarf.

It still carries the scent

of violets, the warmth

of her mother's hand.


On her tarnished teapot

she sees a glow left

from that long-ago night

when the moon's breath

brushed its surface.


Her price is firm

on the old wooden cup.

If she pours her life

into this vessel of her

past, it will never splinter

nor seep through the cracks.




After the Flood


Fish, like party guests

have swum from the kitchen;

snakes in the bed

have slithered downstream,


leaving me

with overturned bottles

and empty cups, sludge

to be scooped from my life.


I will rebuild

with bones and sticks

and skeletons of sound

to echo the sweet hammering


of days, sandbags

to keep death

and love from seeping in.

I pile them until the sun


is a shadow,

until my heartbeat

is a hollow slap of water

against a wooden hull.




Patty Dickson Pieczka is the author of Lacing Through Time (Bellowing Ark Press, 2011), and a chapbook, Word Paintings, (Snark Publishing, 2002); she was the 2010 recipient of the Frances Locke Memorial Poetry Award and was nominated for an Illinois Arts Council Award. Pieczka graduated from the Creative Writing Program at Southern Illinois University, completing two internships at The Crab Orchard Review, where she wrote book reviews. Her writing has appeared in Bluestem, Blue Unicorn, Willow Review, Red Rock Review, Apocalypse, and The Cape Rock.