Wild Honey, Tough Salt

Sunday afternoon found my family unexpectedly at a memorial service at the high school, standing in the cold and snow around a bonfire. That evening, my daughter sits  on the couch beside me, reading Robert Frost’s poem “Fire and Ice.” Why, she asks, is she required to memorize poems and recite them aloud?

Because poetry is who we are, both the beauty, the sheer ugliness at times, and the unexplained complexity of life. Here’s a poem by Kim Stafford:



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. This poem is poignant and moving. Brett, you have a remarkable ability to link together other people’s writings with your own writing. (The inside of your brain must look like a referral library!!) Thank you for introducing me to Kim Stafford, who I immediately began to read about, which led me to reading about his father William Stafford, including this fine article: https://www.terrain.org/2017/interviews/william-stafford-family/ Can you imagine having two poet laureates in one family?!

    1. Oops, I meant ‘reference’ library. Apparently my iPad didn’t think I should be using that particular word!

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