Vermont Day.

Soccer practice begins. School looms. In the night, I wake and wonder what does any of that mean anymore? What is this strange time? Sleepless, I read The Farm with a cat on my feet. Through the open window, the humid night swallows sound, the crickets’ nighttime singing almost a whimper. Unlike the raucous spring mating season, late summer sounds dwindle.

But the season is fat, full. I dream of delicata squash lying on the ground, beneath their wide leaves.

*

My youngest sits on the couch beside me, with a bag full of pens and paper that her uncle bought her for school. She snaps open her binder and replaces last year’s ragged dividers with unmarked manila pages for this year. On the tags, she writes CALC, then APUSH, outlining her junior year courses.

I pick up my knitting — yarn I’ve unraveled from a previous sweater I never finished. Maybe this project will remain on the needles forever, too.

*

Sebastian Junger, one of my favorite writers, collaborated on a documentary, The Last Patrol. Combat veterans take a long foot journey, searching for what’s good about America — particularly relevant these days.

“The public is often accused of being disconnected from its military, but frankly it’s disconnected from just about everything. Farming, mineral extraction, gas and oil production, bulk cargo transport, logging, fishing, infrastructure construction—all the industries that keep the nation going are mostly unacknowledged by the people who depend on them most.” 

― Sebastian Junger

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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