Two Bears

Driving down our curvy back road the other morning, a young black bear loped before my car, coal-dark against the morning’s gold leaves woven through with mist. The creature faced us, then, in no particular rush, disappeared over the edge of the steep road. Behind me, a pickup rushed up in my mirror, missing the scene.

Midday, the kids were out of school. When I returned at dinnertime – full dark already in these shortening days – my older daughter told me the younger girl had lain on her back with her enormous teddy bear all afternoon, staring at the sky. She was fine, the teenager relayed. She just wanted to lie there for a while before we put the trampoline away for the winter.

Two young creatures – the bear cub and my child – at ease in the glowing woods.

….didn’t October do
A bang-up job? Crisp breezes, full-throated cries
Of migrating geese, low-floating coral moon.
Nothing left but fool’s gold in the trees.
Did I love it enough, the full-throttle foliage,
While it lasted?…
– Maggie Dietz, “November”img_2591


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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