Butterscotch Lifesavers

In the evening, as dusk settles in, my daughter and I walk downtown to the corner store.

I’m looking for Lifesavers, a rare treat in our house. She asked if I would mind buying her Lifesavers on my way home from work. I’d forgotten her request in my hurry home.

At the corner store, we realize she’s forgotten her mask, so I go in alone and stand there, pondering the three Lifesaver options that store offers. What the heck, I think, aren’t there like a thousand flavors of Lifesavers?

Outside, I find her leaning against the store’s cement block wall, talking on her phone to her uncle, who’s called to find out how school’s going and what’s up in the realm of pandemic adolescence. She’s talking and smiling, glad to hear from him, spilling her happiness with her math class and driver’s ed, the two bright spots in what otherwise appears to a whole lot of chaos.

These days, my head feels jammed with a snarly chaos, with a stream of work and winter prep, a marathon-length school board meeting, and our first frost. As my daughter talks, I wander along the river, its bank piled with old tires. Oak trees spread over the water, their leaves still summer green. What a story, I think, this will be one day, for these kids who grew up in the pandemic’s shadow.

I slide the packs of Lifesavers into her jacket pocket, my small offering.

About Brett Ann Stanciu

A writer and sugarmaker, Brett Ann lives with her two daughters in stony soil Vermont. Her novel HIDDEN VIEW was published by Green Writers Press in the fall of 2015. Let my writing speak for itself.
This entry was posted in writing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Butterscotch Lifesavers

  1. Jeff Cann says:

    The image of a Vermont river bank piled with old tires is jarring.

  2. Alien Resort says:

    Butterscotch were the only ones I liked.

  3. Nancy says:

    Great poem…what’s the title of the book it came from? Nice to see a post; I was beginning to wonder if everything was ok!

    • Hi Nancy,

      The book is Five T’ang Poets, translated by David Young.
      http://www.davidyoungpoet.com/page3b.html

      The ‘soft opening’ of my daughter’s high school has been extraordinarily stressful. Two weeks in, and we’re still struggling to get her schedule straightened out in a way that’s realistically challenging and engaging. At the same time, I’m incredibly grateful that she actually gets to go to school for two days a week — at least for now!

      Thank you for writing!!

Leave a Reply to Jeff Cann Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s