Half Moon

I step around the barn in the twilight and see the half moon shimmering above the barn’s back corner, like a surprise.

I empty the ash bucket and set it on the cement step, waiting for my daughters and our twilight walk, as the dusk shakes down.

A year ago, my oldest was in New Mexico, visiting my parents and hanging out with my brother and his girlfriend. After a wild wind and rain storm, the power went out, and my youngest and I ate take-out by candlelight. Always, at this time of year, as the days perceptibly shorter, I realize how profoundly cold and dark has wound into my life, spread physically and metaphorically into the life I’ve shaped as a woman and a mother.

What’s different this year is the collective darkness of disease as the rates of Covid increase around our little world, of the unraveling political world relentlessly marching along.

And yet — there’s that ancient silent moon.

My daughters are laughing as they walk towards me.

What? I ask.

They look at each other again, and my oldest says, Nothing, Mom, and then they laugh again.

“I am more convinced than ever that we are shards of others.”

— Jenn Shapland, My Autobiography of Carson McCullers

Photo by Molly S.

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.

4 comments

  1. Hope the ashes are helping your garden (at least the non-blueberry parts)! And I doubly hope the wood heater is conveying primal strength to you and your family. GT

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