Signpost

Earth Day gives us snow in Vermont, that poor man’s fertilizer.

In a lightly falling snow, I lean against a school building, talking on the phone to my brother while my daughter plays soccer. Snow drifts in flakes about the size of a nickel, some melting on the pavement, others accumulating on tree branches and the toe of my boot.

The phone connection is stunningly clear — a surprise in rural Vermont.

As the snow falls, we wonder at the happenstance of circumstances — how the fall of a family member might have gone disastrously awry. Our conversation wanders beyond that, to the Chauvin trial, and the bystanders on that terrible day who, by happenstance, were present, and the teenage girl who pulled out her phone and shared her witness’s eyes with the world.

We’re in no hurry to hang up, and my brother suggests that, if Washington D. C. achieves statehood, the flag’s tidy stars will be kicked out of kilter. Vermont should succeed, he says.

After I hang up, I lean against that wooden wall. A fat robin lands in the snow, seeking a worm. My daughter and two friends walk across the parking lot, laughing, their braided hair damp with melted snow, their cheeks and bare knees bright red. It’s spring.

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 comment

Leave a comment

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