Routine Message of Survival

Flowering Plum

In spring from the black branches of the flowering plum tree

the woodthrush issues its routine

message of survival. Where does such happiness come from

as the neighbors’ daughter reads into that singing,

and matches? All afternoon she sits

in the partial shade of the plum tree, as the mild wind

floods her immaculate lap with blossoms, greenish white

and white, leaving no mark, unlike

the fruit that will inscribe

unraveling dark stains in heavier winds, in summer.

— Louise Gluck

Memorial Day weekend might as well be Hardwick Vermont Day.  Parade, fair, concessions.  My daughters were introduced to fried dough this afternoon, by a friend of my Older Daughter.  “Let me introduce you to a fine part of the world……”

The little, exquisite Jeudevine Library had a book sale, where I spent $1.50, rounded up to $2.00, and then released a few more dollars in the bake sale and coffee urn.  My own childhood library, the Goffstown Public Library, and the children’s librarian, Betsy Elliott (now long crossed over), are a place and a person prominent among my treasured memories.   I could go to the library everyday on the way home from school, check out books, read and return them, and check out more.  Some lucky days, Mrs. Elliott had even put aside new books for me!

Courtesy the book sale, here’s a Louise Gluck poem from The House on Marshland.  The woodthrush and I will be out in the garden early tomorrow morning, working on our routine message of survival: tomato plants, basil, cosmos and sweet peas, and that interior life.


Photo by Molly S.

About Brett Ann Stanciu

A writer and sugarmaker, Brett Ann lives with her two daughters in stony soil Vermont. Her novel HIDDEN VIEW was published by Green Writers Press in the fall of 2015. Let my writing speak for itself.
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