This Brief Place

These few days, we’re staying in a house without a clock, which makes me realize just how much of my life is sewn together by those magic hands. When my daughters were tiny, and I was mostly home with them, our lives unfolded daily in the ways of very young children: the endless cycle of eating and play and napping. Now, I arrange complicated days, while stringing together long hours of work. But even when I have that time, I am always aware of that clock hammering down: work, work, while I have time.

Now, time-out-of-clock. With the shades pulled down, we slept late this morning. The sky is sleeting, the house warm, the children here and well. We may never return to our empty house.

with the night falling we are saying thank you
we are stopping on the bridges to bow from the railings…

M. S. Merwin, “Thanks”


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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