Worn trees moan:

Ghost-houses in winter.


The woods drink our depths.

Old leaves brush like damp

Bedding across our faces.
Broken paths, broken branches.

Crescent sun on mud.
We do not know where we

Are going. But we dare
To hope. Darkness comes in slants.

The snag of wooden claws,
The horror that hangs from trees,

Can look like love.
We hold to each others’ bare arms; our feet

Tap, tap over skins and stones.
Over soil, cold and blunt.

We trip on sticks.
If we should fall, snap bone—

For a long moment we see
Ourselves not just lost and alone

But motionless,
Swelling with starvation,

Two stars on cracked soil,
A quiet fall

Into a tangle
Of witch-arm branches.


Contributor’s Notes: Savannah Thorne graduated from the University of Iowa, where she studied in the Writers’ Workshop. She holds cum laude Master’s degrees from De Paul University in Chicago and Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont. Her poetry has appeared in nearly two dozen literary journals such as Potpourri, The Wisconsin Review, Rhino, Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Parabola, The Iowa Rag, and The Atlanta Review.  She has won numerous poetry prizes, including Honorable Mention for The Missouri Review’s Editor’s Prize contest and recently became managing editor for Conclave: A Journal of Character. After Hurricane Isabel hit her home in 2003,  she has lived all over the United States.