Fall.

The moon is a perfect circle of cream.

In the dark, we walk downtown and leave letters in the mailbox. Through the valley’s mist, house and streetlights glow. November looms. Poet Thomas Hood described November: “No dawn — no dusk — no proper time of day.”

The news around us is of two, unrelated homicides, neither far from our house, in our rural state with scant violent crime. In the dark, I bring in an armful of wood and pause for a moment. Across the valley, I see a pair of headlights crest a dark hillside and begin a descent, slow to my eyes through the mist.

Through the house windows, I see my daughters before the wood stove, our walls painted butter-yellow. The crickets are gone. Late fall pushes in. Every year, the darkness enfolds us again, inescapable and mysterious.

Over my shoulder there’s that moon.

Hardwick, Vermont

So…

Pub date for Unstitched arrives Tuesday. The lovely Galaxy Bookshop and the equally terrific Jeudevine Memorial Library (both in Hardwick) are hosting a reading Tuesday (9.14.2021) at the Hardwick Town House.

If you’re in town and interested in coming out, please do.

I’ll also be chatting virtually with the fantastic poet Kerrin McCadden this Thursday, September 16, at 7:30 p.m., in an evening hosted by Phoenix Books. No charge, of course, for these events.

How much our world has changed since those days when I walked downtown and spent Tuesday evenings in the Galaxy, listening to writers and drinking cider. I hope you’re all well….

Short excerpt…

Like many others, I arrived [in Vermont] as a transplant. As a child and into my twenties, I moved frequently, from deserty New Mexico to New Hampshire’s red-brick mill cities to mountainous western Washington. Gradually, I became smitten with this tight-knit town. I joined the five-member school board and chaperoned walks into the wetlands. Our world was stitched together by carving jack-o’- lanterns, giggling at sleepovers, voting yay or nay on town and school budgets at community meetings, and baking surprise birthday cakes for friends. When I discovered the library had been broken into after hours, what remained was a lingering residue not only of cigarette smoke but also of fear. I began to wonder if maybe this world wasn’t so fine.”