“Greenhome” by Zoe Yates

Jade and emerald and bloodstone, with its surprising shade
Of green that is almost black.
Rare chartreuse, when the sun hits just right–
Fern and juniper, moss and pine
Olive and crocodile skin–
It’s the green I miss the most
When I close my eyes and imagine home.
Roads that wind like snakes over the mountains,
Through a tunnel of leaves as bright as any stained glass–
The secret pocket of forest near my old house,
Where I could slip away in the winter to hear the river’s tune.
Home is still as familiar to me as the whorls of my fingertips,
The freckles on my shoulders,
The scars on my knee where I fell off my cousin’s bicycle
And down a hill.
Movies play on the backs of my eyelids,
I imagine stepping off the porch and into my backyard,
Or taking a walk on the campus trail where I cleared my mind
So many times.
Home is a word, it’s a place, it’s the people,
Home is written into me as surely
As the marks on my skin.
Inescapable, my refuge
Even when I am away,
I dream of returning.


Zoe Yates is a multimedia artist and writer from southern West Virginia. She presently lives in Cincinnati, where she is an MFA candidate at University of Cincinnati. Both her written and visual work are concerned with exploring the intersecting elements of identity, and both are specifically concerned with her experiences as an Appalachian. She has previously presented as a panelist at the 2022 Writers Conference of Northern Appalachia, where she spoke on authentic written representations of Appalachia, specifically Appalachian women.


**Featured image: Angela Loria, Unsplash


  1. Again Zoe has done a fantastic job.love you Zoe Aunt Cathy

  2. Beautiful!

  3. I’ve never been able to find the words for the shades of green the world turns this time of year, this makes my little nature loving heart so happy. West Virginia Spring misses you too

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