Wolf Branch


I like to say I learned to walk on gravel

and in the summer the ladybugs would fall from my window seam

a jar with a hand-drawn skull and crossbones sat on the counter

next to the tapeworm I got from the neighbor’s pig

the bats made a home next to ours

and the cat fought a raccoon and was never the same

we burned half a forest for warmth, and the ash settled in my lungs

Colored by my memories of growing up in the mountains of Western North Carolina, Wolf Branch is focused on my shifting feelings about the region and my family's relationship with the land. The images throughout—mountains shrouded in mist, slivers of forest, detritus in the water and air—represent falling apart and finding rebirth in the splinters. A place is never just one thing; it's as diverse as the number of people that call it home.