The Tall and the Short of It

Running through the Atlanta airport – far larger than the Vermont village we live in – my 17-year-old daughter is the sharp one among us, pointing her younger sister and I through the crowds to the T concourse, up an escalator and a second one, laughing as we rush for our plane, breathlessly relaying how she ran in high heels last winter, alone, for the final flight into Burlington before a snowstorm.

In an underground train, the younger sister reads aloud, “Hold on when the train starts,” and then immediately asks, “Hold on to what?” Surrounded by people, the younger girl and I look up. We are both under five feet, and I stretch my hand up hopelessly for the overhead strap.

As the train lurches forward, we both clutch her older sister (a girl who is, as Raymond Carver wrote, a long tall drink of water), and everyone around us laughs out loud.

With a delayed flight, we currently remain in Atlanta, waiting with chipper Vermonters we don’t know but are beginning to, exchanging weather, geography, and history stories – beneath a stunning double rainbow.

Here’s a few lines from Thomas Christopher Greene‘s novel If I Forget You I’m reading:

She climbs into the yellow cab that is first in the line of yellow cabs. Henry is running now. He is at the window. She looks up at him – those eyes, unchanged, the pale blue of sea glass – and he stretches his hand toward the closed window and the cab lurches out into traffic, merging quickly, a damn sea of yellow cabs, and he tries to keep his eyes on the one that carries her, until he is no longer sure which one it is and a phalanx of them moves up Broadway and out of sight.


Atlanta airport, GA

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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