Early January, at Home

In the morning, driving along the Lamoille River and its flanking snow-buried farm fields, my daughter and I note the river’s ice buckled across its serpentine surface and speculate about its thickness. With this year’s early insulating snow, the fire department posts warnings about treacherously thin ice.

These days are long, beginning in darkness and ending in darkness, arcing over the eye of grayish light in the middle. Last night, our windows filled with spinning snowflakes, while my teenager and I held onto the day, talking, talking, our words swirling around each other, sharing our worlds.

Later, as the wind howled over the house, I read from my library book Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times – irresistible title.

Poetry is like the sawdust coming from under the saw
or soft yellow shavings from a plane.
Poetry is washing hands in the evening
or a clean handkerchief that my late aunt
never forgot to put in my pocket.

Jaan Kaplinksi, “‘Once I Got a Postcard…..'”

North Calais, Vermont

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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