Postcard From Hardwick: September 1

After an intense week of work and family — of wondering where is this heading? — my daughter locks her keys in her car and texts me. Can I bring my keys? And there’s a sketchy stranger near her, too.

When I arrive, she’s leaning against her car, looking up at the sky, and the sketchy somebody is a dad in the high school parking lot, teaching his kid to drive, in that jerking, slow way my daughter and I both recognize.

I mention that my brother can teach my second daughter to drive.

From a soggy patch in the weeds, a bullfrog croaks.

September 1 today, the anniversary of the fateful day Hitler rolled his tanks into Poland, beginning the war that destroyed so many lives.

September 1, the anniversary of my former inlaws.

This morning, all’s quiet on this green patch of Vermont, overcast, with cricket songs and bird calls, a day that begs reflection.

All I have is a voice
To undo the folded lie...
There is no such thing as the State
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die.

— W. H. Auden, September 1, 1939


Being 13, Hardwick, Vermont

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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