In my usual, take-your-kids-to-work-with-you way, the girls came, too, when I read at Vermont’s Norwich Bookstore, in the first real sunny day of spring.

Afterward, my daughters and I walked around Dartmouth College, where the enormous green was filled with students and flying frisbees. The young women wore strappy dresses; the daffodils spread their buttery petals; we ate homemade cherry gelato. All was budding and new in the world. Driving back along Vermont’s sparsely travelled interstate, we passed fields turning toward emerald from the dull brown they’ve held for weeks. The rivers and lakes had thawed, and flocks of birds darted in quick waves.

All the way home, needing no map, we laughed and told stories.

…You are born a woman
for the sheer glory of it,
little redhead, beautiful screamer.
You are no second sex,
but the first of the first;
& when the moon’s phases
fill out the cycle
of your life,
you will crow
for the joy
of being a woman,
telling the pallid moon
to go drown herself
in the blue ocean,
& glorying, glorying, glorying
in the rosy wonder
of your sunshining wondrous

– Erica Jong

Hanover, New Hampshire

By Brett Ann Stanciu

Brett Ann Stanciu lives with her two daughters in Hardwick, Vermont. Her creative nonfiction book, Unstitched: My Journey to Understand Opioid Addiction and How People and Communities Can Heal, will be published by Steerforth Press in September 2021. Her novel about rural life in Vermont, Hidden View, was published in 2015.


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