Jo Clark


So, the crepe myrtles have bowed

their heads in prayer.

Heady flora, pink and divine,

they reach for spider webs,

which wisp around liriope

blooms, spiral steps

curling heavenward.

In this forest that grew me,

fallen trees lean into


They cross themselves,

soaked and wanting,

in that holy water—

acid rain in Appalachia

is as common as a kiss

to the forehead, here

beneath the aphid

torn leaves,

that holy wind

whispers through

holy woods,

waltzes through

hallowed ground,

seeps into earth,


here is the forest

where girls frolic,

here is the place

where girls

with wet hair are made.

Jo Clark is a student, poet, and journalist born and raised in the Blue Ridge Mountains. She is currently pursuing a double major in poetry composition and Medieval and Renaissance literature at the University of Virginia. She is the poetry curator for V-Magazine at UVA and a senior writer for The Cavalier Daily. She has been published in The Stardust Review and Prospectus: A Literary Offering. She has work forthcoming in Q* Anthology. She hopes to one day release a full-length collection of poetry.