After Midnight

Rain falls in the night. The cats press at the window screen, curious, wakeful in their quiet way.

In this post-midnight hour, I close my library book about Trump and deceit — how language is both truth and weapon. From the stack of books donated to my library, I pull a collection of essays.

While the rain continues to fall lightly — and I think of my thirsty garden drinking, drinking, the trees with their copious roots and the innumerable blades of grass — a domestic black-and-white-and-coffee-colored tiger curls at my feet while I read about a liver transplant.

We are made of the dust of old stars, our grade-school teacher told us; we are made of lives and sediment and the mulch of life. But I was also made of something rescued from the graveyard…. you can’t quite forget the how it felt to lie in the close darkness of that grave; you can’t forget the acrid smell of the earth or the stink of the moldering grave clothes, especially now that you know, as you never did before, that you’re headed back to the grave again, as is everyone, and you know this with a clarity you cherish and despise.

— Richard McCann, The Resurrectionist

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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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