Down the valley,

she is whitewashed

and low.


Earnest eaves stick out,

like tongues waving welcomes

and warnings;

hold onto those leather straps!

Keep the books dry!


Windows invite tapping,

allow for sneaking looks,

peekings in at

mouthy desks carved

with dull love letters,

edged with dust.


Pink crumbs from

raspberry tarts shared scatter

among girls


w o /a n d e r then

cluster the stoop,

whispering about slate slams.


She sits comfortably,

nestled in


fussy fir branches that shake at those who

scamper past,

late again from imagining ghosts.


The brook sticks close to her—

a natural ally.

She too hums knowingly and

also stays down,

her attention remaining on cooling milk


hot hands with

easy babbling.


Together, both quietly hold autumn close,

capturing leaves in the doorway or

washing them downstream,

shushing crinkling just in time for

poetry hour.


About the Author: Amber Moore is a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow at Simon Fraser University. Her research interests include adolescent literacies, feminist pedagogies, teacher education, arts-based research, rape culture, and trauma literature, particularly YA sexual assault narratives. Her work can be found in journals such as Cultural Studies ↔ Critical Methodologies, Feminist Media Studies, Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, and Qualitative Inquiry, among others. She also enjoys writing poetry. Email:

Acknowledgements: This work is very generously supported by the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships program.

Geographical Information: This poem was written on the ancestral, traditional, and unceded territories of the Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations, where the author lives and works as uninvited guest and settler. These lands are also known as Vancouver, in British Columbia, Canada.

Banner Image: Book cover for Anne of Avonlea, 1991., 117B-AA-SCHOLASTIC.