Woodchuck

Geese fly overhead in the dark evening, so near I hear their wings beating. Frost hovers, gathering strength.

Yeah, my daughter says, that’s what geese do. They’re out of here!

The garden’s gone wild at the end of the season, its queen the mightiest and heaviest sunflower head I’ve ever grown. Its stalk might rival a sturdy sapling.

The woodchuck’s gnawing my cabbage heads near the garden gate. In another year, I might have set the trap, but this year…. Gnaw on, chuck. Winter’s coming. The cabbages are profuse.

A touch of cold in the Autumn night –
I walked abroad,
And saw the ruddy moon lean over a hedge
Like a red-faced farmer.
I did not stop to speak, but nodded,
And round about were the wistful stars
With white faces like town children.

— T. E. Hulme’s “Autumn”

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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.

2 comments

  1. Such a pithy summary of ambitious garden plans that (inevitably) bow to Nature’s order/disorder towards the end of the harvest season…”Gnaw on, chuck” indeed. Thanks for the writing, GT

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