Making Sense?

At dusk, after washing the dishes, my daughter agrees to go on a walk with me — she is clearly good-humoring me. It’s cold, and I sense she doesn’t care all that much about the gorgeous blue horizon.

Plus, she’s 13. Having once been 13 myself — albeit in the last century — I know 13-year-olds cannot wear hats.

Walking, she asks me why is this necessary? I offer my usual lines — that it’s pleasant to walk in the evening, that a little cold and adversity build character (my dad’s line). I remind her of my amazing wealth of character.

So, she says, you have character because you froze your ass off?

Put that way, I admit that perhaps not all the pieces of my thinking always hinge together perfectly. Or perhaps they do….

Real poetry, is to lead a beautiful life. To live poetry is better than to write it.



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. I can almost imagine this conversation, and it makes me laugh. My daughter has also been quick witted lately. I am certain they both will have perfectly developed character. 🙂

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