Thread of Thanks

Before I turned off the lights and went home from the library the other day, I checked out a ‘thanksgiving’ tree a child had made and left behind, maybe to dry, maybe because the project was forgotten. Branches were stuck in a mason jar, with colored leaves tied on with white yarn, handwritten with the child’s thanks.

Whoever this child is, she or he had painted the jar a brilliant turquoise blue, and the branches were so large, they nearly tipped the jar over.

I read a few written in purple marker in a child’s handwriting: mom, my bike, the sky, chocolate.

These November days, the dark is ubiquitous. I rise in the dark with the mewling kittens. Before I begin dinner, the dark has already wrapped us again, familiar, like a long-term visitor we must endure. The heady days of an evening swim in the lake, of splashing while the late sunset descends, will return.

Here’s my own offering, from Julie Cadwallader-Staub’s Milk:

… and it was all too much then –
the endless stream of groceries meals
bills illnesses laundry jobs no sleep –
so to sit in the rocking chair was sweet respite,
to do just one thing:
watch the baby
drain the profusion of milk out of me
watch the baby
become so contented that nursing faded into sleep…

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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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