Emerald Blossom

A little girl, about the height of my hip, leans against me in the library, seeking gum. My stash melted in the freak heat wave. She looks at me, forlorn.

The adult I’m speaking with suggests they walk outside and pick a leaf of kale.

Later, when I’m outside, too, I see the little girl with a dark green leaf tucked in her fist. She clutches this edible bouquet, watching the big girls swing. Then she leans against my leg, still facing away, a kind of forgiveness. She eats the entire leaf.

How much I desire!
Inside my little satchel,
the moon, and flowers.

– Basho

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From the season’s last swim….

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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