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She Spoke Like Late Autumn

A Poem by Chase Ambler

She spoke like late autumn

reds oranges yellows

once fireballs lining streets

casting golden hues below

long fallen from shivering limbs

now trodden in November mud


He howled like December wind

whipped through streets

turned people away

drove them further into coats

stirring those very leaves in

snakes swirls eddies

yet never enough to rise

to branches once again


They would not last winter’s cold

no body heat reflected across their distance

frozen memories falling in

snakes swirls eddies

how could they last when their spring buds

upon other branches

had already begun to bloom

red orange yellow

green blue purple



~ Reflection ~


The idea for this poem came to me, surprisingly, in early autumn. Gazing at the glorious, vibrant colors of the fall foliage always sets my mind ablaze, but I thought of the much more subdued, depressing time after the leaves have fallen, after the world turns grey and brown. I thought I needed to set something here in that limbo between autumn brilliance and winter serenity—the time when the world gets colder, but not prettier, as it awaits snow.

The poem started out as merely descriptions of that in-between state until I realized I really needed characters. So the idea of a relationship falling apart came to me because it seems to fit the mood that I was going for. I wanted to convey a period of time when a couple grows distant. In this case the woman has lost her passion, and the man becomes angrier, yet neither do what is necessary to save the relationship. Both the loss of the leaves and the wind of late autumn serve only to drive the relationship towards winter—the death of much of the world.

In the story of the poem each character has begun relationships with other people, and thus weakened the original partnership. I used the metaphor of a tree with different branches for this to show how it would never work. A tree may not have certain branches in spring while others are in fall or winter, or summer for that matter. It just doesn’t work; it’s not possible—like this relationship.

I chose to omit punctuation from the poem because it directs readers. These characters are so lost and don’t know what to do, so I thought removing punctuation might convey that feeling a little. I’m not sure if that works, but it was my intent. You can be the judge.


Chase Ambelr - HeadshotChase Ambler is an American writer who spent his childhood in South and Southeast Asia. His life has been shaped by strange obsessions: heavy metal music, mountains, travel, and soccer. These subjects have all molded his poetry and prose in some way, but the birth of his daughter may have the greatest impact yet. He lives with his wife, baby daughter, and dog in Colorado. If one went looking for Chase, they could find him anywhere from changing diapers to summiting 14,000 foot mountains, but odds are he’s in front of the computer working on his next novel. Visit the FB page for his Novel: Snowsong

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