A $5 Rainbow-Bright Kickball

My cheerful kids returned yesterday with a bright pink blow-up beach ball they found on a back road. The older daughter, driving, had pulled over, so the 12-year-old and her friend ran back along the ice-rutted road for the garish pink ball. At home, they mended the gash with silver duct tape.

Vermont’s March palette lies heavy on variations of white — the pureness of fresh snow, the near-gray of thawed ice refrozen with dirt particles — dark green pine, the black of gravel roads where the town crew has strewn sand, the crimson patches on redwing blackbirds.

Full of spring energy with the lengthy daylight after dinner, the girls and I walked around the neighborhood. The younger splashed through a puddle and noted she stepped over the moon’s reflection. I bought the girls a $5 kickball, striped in rainbow colors. Deep into twilight, so cold we kept blowing on our bare hands, the girls and I played four-square, that brilliantly-colored ball bouncing through the thickening dusk.

And then the girls took the ball inside and played in her bedroom, confusing the cats.

Here’s the artwork from the newest issue of Taproot, with an essay I wrote about our house. The artist’s creation is a remarkable likeness, both in architecture and emotion, although the blossom season hasn’t yet returned…..


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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