Imagining Summer

Reading about Texas, I wince for these folks. We’re colder here, in Vermont, but we’re ready for the cold — at least the fortunate of us are. My daughter, at 15, wears thin canvas shoes to school. I watch her in the morning lace these up, knowing she’ll walk home through snow and sometimes sleet in these shoes, but the walk isn’t long. More importantly, the choice and consequences are hers. And who wants to clomp around a high school in winter boots?

We’re living now in the interminable zone of midwinter, where the promise of spring scorns us like a mirage. At the same time, inherently we’re living through a countdown to mid-March. I remember that cold afternoon I stood with my daughter in our kitchen, listening to the governor on the radio as he explained the shelter in place order. She was 14 then, and kept asking me what that meant. I had no idea then, but I could sense walls ascending around our house, as if rising from the earth.

One year later. It’s not my anniversary, it’s an anniversary for all of us. For what that’s worth.

Here’s a poem written for the love of summer….

The gravel road rides with a slow gallop
over the fields, the telephone lines
streaming behind, its billow of dust
full of the sparks of redwing blackbirds.

— Ted Kooser, “So This is Nebraska”

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. And here’s a haiku for just where we are🪴. Your writing got me wondering, and I found this.
    In the melting snow
    The light radiates
    The color of spring.
    ~ Azumi Uchitani

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