Frost Slivers.

Hardwick, Vermont

Vermont November is the month of introspection.

Beloved friends from long ago stop by for coffee and conversation on their way from here to there. We’d last seen them when we first moved in this house, less five years ago.

We take that figure of five years and turn it around and around — so much has happened in those five years. As with everyone I meet from afar these days, I ask what’s happening where they live. The conversation has a strange, almost wartime sentiment, as we compare notes.

In mid-afternoon, I bury daffodil bulbs. The soil has already begun to freezing. My bare fingers burrow through silvers of white frost, the teeth of winter beginning to grow. Finished, I brush off my hands on my jeans and stow my shovel in the barn.

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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