Autumn brushes twisted Oaks
A rim of dawn lingers in the east
She wishes to walk the full length
of the day crushed by radiant sun
young grasses bristle beneath her feet
she hears a whisper, unsaid feeling
soft surrender from deep inside
a picture of herself smiling flashes in her mind
then disappears into aching weariness

Used to sleepless nights
moon and glittering stars
coax her to stay awake
lecture her with endless legends,
but this morning sun’s golden disk
splashes into her face
rises from her unshielded eyes,
slides over tightly braided hair
creeps down her softening shoulders

She follows an easy stream
watches a knife of sunshine
slice the ripples overs smooth rocks
she continues to soak up the journey
Her walking slows
Sleep beckons from somewhere in her memory
A few more steps and she may find
A husky tree to lean against
An oasis to watch the yellow afternoon
make its way across the cloudless sky

She leans her head against sappy bark
light softens, air is sweet
sun beings to dip behind the far mountains
it’s warm receding arms press down, send
a loving invitation; she accepts and
in these last oozing hours
the Salinas Valley witnessed a quiet miracle
when she stretched a yawn
when Her eyes closed and she slept

Marianne Lyon has been a music teacher for 39 years. After teaching in Hong Kong she returned to the Napa Valley and has been published in various literary magazines and reviews. Nominated for the Pushcart Prize 2016. She is a member of the California Writers Club, Healdsburg Literary Guild. She is an Adjunct Professor at Touro University Vallejo California