Fat Garden

A monarch butterfly followed me to the post office. Since the store closed last year, the village is quiet — only a garage and the post office remain open, and the post office keeps merely afternoon hours. Save for the elementary school, the town feels emptied out.

With no one around, I walked with the butterfly along the dirt road, until the winged beauty turned and fluttered over the weeds along the stream.

September: with the weather still warm, the frogs sang last night. Just before dusk, the girls and I picked a mountain — and then a mountain more — of tomatoes from the garden. More to put up. The younger daughter keeps track, satisfied, with our harvest.


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. Beautiful. I know I keep saying that about your posts, but it’s true. I look forward to your writing every single day! Also, I would very much like to visit your village. It sounds wonderful 🙂

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