Constellations

11 at night, I’m at the high school, waiting for my daughter to return from a band/amusement park trip. The sun set hours ago, and I grab an extra sweater on the way out. It’s cold, cold enough I’m surprised I don’t see a ghostly cloud of my breath.

I get out of my car and hurry down the steep hill to the soccer field. Away from the lights in the school’s parking lot, the constellations appear, this silent beauty. I walk all the way around the field, to the far end where the woods begin. These fields, one of the most well-used places in Hardwick, are empty. On the rise of land above, I see moving car lights as parents pull in.

If the grass weren’t drenched with cold dew, I’d lie down. I remember being 19-years-old, the first year I lived in Vermont, and hiking in the middle of the night with a friend to a field. Rural Vermont, there were no human lights surrounding us at all. It was November and quite cold, but we were well-dressed and very young, and we lay down in the field and talked and talked.

I could feel the universe’s energy come up through the not-yet-frozen black earth, through the glacial pebble and tangled root, through my vertebrae and flesh, all the way up to the countless stars overhead.

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Vultures/by Molly S.

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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