Behind the Landscape

Joanne Zarrillo Cherefko
1 min readJun 9, 2024


Do you sense me in the peaks

of mountains or in the rain

that cascades and floods the streams

in this high valley born of rock and

tillable but infertile fields and history

at the edge of sorrowful memories?

My folds are not the folds

of the Blue Ridge that

reveal themselves on a clear day;

mine are discontinuous

and form no visible line

to a final destination.

I am not the orange puff

reflected in clouds that form

in a clear blue sky

or the late-day glow

that lights up the greenery

and the golden fields.

I am the haze that moves

over the ridge line,

the fog that creeps along

the mountain tops,

the tendrils of ivy

that shroud sections of stone.

Sifted through decades of debris,

I am best viewed from an overlook

on Skyline Drive where I appear

as a vague cluster of atoms,

indistinguishable from the elements

that allow me to hide from life.



Joanne Zarrillo Cherefko

Award-winning educator and published poet: A Consecration of the Wind, Fragmented Roots, and Souls Tilled Like Soil. Website: