Childhood, End of Year 14

Three months of glorious summer stretch ahead — we may be (mostly) shut in, threatened by a virus, wondering about the fall and the future — but the apple and lilac blossoms are profuse.

Early mornings and dusky evenings, I water barefoot in the garden, carrying buckets silently, listening. My daughter waits for a game of soccer. When I lean against her trampoline and ask what’s up, she says merely, Nothing.

There’s no arguing here. That nothing encompasses a great deal these days, including the studious picking apart of dandelion heads.

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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.

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