Easter Sweets

We leave a plate of tiny cupcakes for our friends on their porch steps. They step out to talk over the garden fence. Purple crocuses bloom beneath their picture window.

Standing there, I remember when my older daughter was two — all those times when she cried, leaving this house, and I strong-armed her into a carseat. Last week, she spent the better part of two days of a nursing home shift sitting with a woman who was dying. The woman had been born in Germany, before the Nazi party rolled tanks into Poland and began World War II.

And so our days continue. Spring into more spring, summer nothing but a promise ahead.

On a run yesterday morning, my daughters stopped to talk to an older man at his mailbox. He told my daughters the few inches of wet spring snow was a poor man’s fertilizer. When they return, they find me writing at the kitchen table, curious to know if I’ve ever heard that phrase before.

Indeed, I say. He’s right.

In the city fields
Contemplating cherry-trees…
Strangers are like friends

— Issa


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. “Poor man’s fertilizer” and “the snow that takes the snow.” Those were the two I grew up with.

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