Fat Beauties.

Our cucumbers withered and died this year, producing little. For years, I’ve built my little mounds and buried seeds or planted my seedlings. This year, the extreme heat, the fluctuations of cold and rain, and sultry heat again, made the vines lie down and quit.

The queen of my garden is the sunflower, their golden faces open high above my head, friend to the sparrows and finches who dart through their stalks.

In the face of grim news, I offer this as a tiny sliver: the sunflowers are growing mightily. Bees are fattening.

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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