Three Quarters Through the Night

It’s a bird-eat-bird world the young woman with a hawk on her arm tells the kids in my library. The kids ask question after question, from Why is the bird’s head bobbing up and down to Why is that little screech owl in such a big box?

That bird-eat-bird world is a hungry world.

Returning home, my older daughter rolls out pizza dough. The chickens have been squawking at a woodchuck running behind the barn. I eye my newly-planted garden. The younger daughter appears with six eggs in her basket. Overhead, the turkey vultures glide in spirals.

This morning, in the early dark, rain falls. I stand on the porch in the dark, listening, too early yet for even the songbirds to have risen. The darkness smells of wet earth. I think of my bean plant seedlings, their first leaves unfurling, stretching out further, drinking in this June rain.

Green, how much I want you green.

— Lorca


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.


  1. Here in Arizona, all parched dry since last August, I can just scream in pain right about now , “Green, how much I want you, green”.. your description of darkness smelling of wet earth is delicious.

  2. Wish I could send you a cardboard box of this green. The last time I spent a few weeks in the southwest, even the grass in Vermont when we came home seemed so alive beneath our feet.

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