Last Chance Road

Last Chance Road

A light rain washes clean the leaves,
the green melody of freedom from the city’s nightmares.
Time rolls past, fast or slow, no one knows,
like the mists that rise up and settle down
upon the Smoky Mountains.
Days lose their distinctions, their names.
Dust, thick and heavy in the sun,
embraces the rain like new love refusing to let go
and calms the road down, clearing the air,
the sky, the pathway love must travel
to embrace a new rain.
The forest is deep in the day or the night;
the only noise comes from the caw of a blue jay,
a creak in the cabin, a crack in the trees.
The quiet is replete with wind through waving branches,
the tiny songs of birds chirping their joys and troubles,
the distant sound of water from Waddell Creek
mumbling: Come drink, come bathe,
come wash away the sorrows in your mind…

I think I will…
Last Chance Road wags far into the mountains
like a tongue between two lips.
I find, beyond the ocean; past the tree stumps,
mulch, and mildew; past the dead trucks and the Old Mill;
past the Earth School and dirt byways;
past ravines, landslides, hidden lakes beyond belief—
a warm fire, a quiet home,
and you.


Sam Ambler’s writing has been published in Christopher Street, The James White Review, and City Lights Review Number 2, among others. He won the San Francisco Bay Guardian’s 6th Annual Poetry Contest. He earned a BA in English, specializing in creative writing of poetry, from Stanford University. He delivered singing telegrams and sang with the Temescal Gay Men’s Chorus in Berkeley and the Pacific Chamber Singers in San Francisco. He has worked in nonprofit theater at Berkeley Rep, Geffen Playhouse, Actors’ Equity, and The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. Now retired, he lives in California with his husband, visual artist Edward L. Rubin.

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