Farm Kids

I left early yesterday morning, giving my daughter in her bed a cat and a kiss, and heading to a rural corner of Vermont where traffic wasn’t a problem — as if traffic generally ever is in Vermont.

I was checking out a high school ag program to write about. The students were funny, a little rough around the edges, the boys joshing each other. They cheerfully answered my questions — it took nothing more than for me to ask, Tell me what you’re doing, and the kids started their stories, knowledgeable and ready to share their know-how, as farm kids often are.

The landscape in that part of Vermont spreads flatly around enormous Lake Champlain, as if there’s so much more terrain than in my mountainous part of Vermont. Driving home, I thought about those kids, one girl who was determined to be an artificial inseminator technician, another who was headed to cosmetology school, all so young, just beginning their lives. One boy struggled with a steer, tugging with all his weight on its rope. A girl came over and took the rope from his hands, said Hey, now, and the steer followed her.

I left with a dozen pepper plants from their greenhouse. I’ve buried their roots already in the last bit of open space in my garden, with a silent prayer, Thrive.

losing you
was the becoming
of myself.

rupi kaur, milk and honey


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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