Red Star

I wake from what I suppose is a writer’s nightmare. Inexplicably, someone has altered the pages of the book I’m writing to emoijis — gibberish where I’ve labored so long to string together sense and beauty.

Mid-November, and the nights are long. We play Battleship, Boggle, Trouble. The library books pile up around the couch.

This time of year, I’m reminded of Vermont’s great extremes. By five, dark has set in fully. In summer, we’d be thinking of heading for an after-work swim. Walking yesterday, I thought of the wild forget-me-nots sprinkled along that roadside in summer. White, pale blue, gray, black: winter’s palette. Inside, we bake phyllo with salty cheese and roasted red peppers — not so much habit or tradition, but simply the thing to do.

just when I think nothing is left alive

the bare branches of the trees
rise up, beckoning

— Marilyn Krysl

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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.

3 comments

  1. I dreamt last night I was directing Meryl Streep in a public service commercial about fire safety. It was a disaster given that we didn’t have a script or camera equipment or a director who knew what he was doing.

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