Three poems by Amber Rutherford

of forests
I walk along
pine by pine
sway to song
trees and leaves
stable and strong
here the cycle 
when I feel most me
I feel most free, this is
quiet serene, this is when
asleep—breathing fresh air 
color of more—solace, sound
color of longing, color of peace
dreams adorned, color of life
deep dark and daring, in a dream
I see the world in shades of green

Pine Tree Green

Dear Baby Brother 

I know you don’t know it, but I used to dream of leaving this
house, of leaving this town and going as far as the road
would take me. But the older I’ve gotten and the bigger
you’ve grown, the more of that dream I have let go. Now my
dream is to be wherever you are forever, to make sure your
back is rubbed each night so that you sleep sound and wake
up to you telling me about your dreams. I want to be here to
see you jump in every puddle every spring and spread your
make-believe wings each time you feel a breeze. I want to
dance with you around the living room at the end of each
movie, sing along to your favorite country songs, and watch
your eyes light up when you see something new. I want to
be the worker you hire to build your blanket forts and be your
comfort when echoes are performed. I only recently noticed
you’re almost too heavy for me to carry—I wished in that
moment that time could freeze, that you could always be this
young and glued to me. I hope you know, one day when
you’re older and living life on your own, just how much you
mean to me, and how in your first four years, being the
person you needed the most, having your little hand to hold,
and knowing you were waiting for me at home, saved mine. 


When I dream, I dream of standing 
at the top of a great big mountain, 
right on the edge of its cliff. The soul 
carrying wind rushing around me, 
the warmth from the closeness of the sun 
thawing my long since frozen bones. 
I dream of touching clear blue skies, 
hidden by clouds from the world 
below, the buzz of life too far away 
to reach me. Watching as the yellow
slowly fades into orange, the orange
slowly fading into red. I dream of 
complete and utter silence, a sound 
so sweet no words can describe it. 
I dream of feeling the weight fall off 
me as I soar—of them one day looking 
but being unable to find me—knowing 
I’ve finally found my wings.

Amber Gabrielle Rutherford is a senior at the University of the Cumberlands, graduating in December of 2023. She is majoring in English with a Creative Writing emphasis as a result of her love for reading and writing, with a minor in Communication Arts in hopes to better understand and communicate with the people around her. Poetry is how she shares her views of the world, nature, family, and simple everyday life.