Car Keys

In the evenings, my daughter lifts the car keys from the hook on the wall, and we drive.

In the passenger seat, I laugh a little, and she looks at me from the edges of her eyes. What?

I haven’t accepted, yet, this switch from driver to passenger seat, and she says seriously, I got this, before smiling with utter pleasure. She no longer asks where we should go; she’s at the wheel.

In the midst of so much other upheaval, from global to personal — my teen has hit the summer of growing up. If I had my license, I’d drive across the country, she says. I have two more months before school starts.

A light rain falls. Neither of us know if school will start, or what her last few years of high school will look like. I’ve driven across country numerous times, but what will her trek look like?

My thirsty garden drinks up the rain. At our house, an enormous mock orange bush reaches our second-floor bedroom windows. For weeks now, I’ve wondered if this bush will bloom this year — here it is, madly blossoming, sprinkling the grass with its fallen white petals.

Such a moon —
the thief
pauses to sing.

— Buson

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Photo by Gabriela Stanciu

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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