Transparency of the Older Woman

By Patty Dickson Pieczka

Women over 50 become invisible.
– Modern myth

She knows the seasons of birth
and blood, the hearts and hollows

of men. A dark bird of death
pecks seeds from her hand.

She senses a lie before it stains
the air, a storm before bruises

swell the clouds, sees maze-threaded
roots that connect all life.

Slipping into folds of time,
she tucks into a soft-woven calm,

free from cramp and mirror
and groping hand,

finds youth
was only a caterpillar.

A movement on her scapula——
flutter of invisible wing

sends her silk-spun robe
drifting behind her.


Patty Dickson Pieczka‘s second book, Painting the Egret’s Echo, won the Library of Poetry Book Award from The Bitter Oleander Press (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. 

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