Brett Ann Stanciu

a writer and sugarmaker, her novel Hidden View, a gritty story woven with family, farming, and the desire for redemption, was published by Green Writers Press in the Fall of 2015

 

 
 

Chapter 13: Excerpt from Hidden View

In June, the woodcutting season, Hal dumped a bucketload of split wood in the woodshed. I had run upstairs for Tansy’s sweater where it had been left on a laundry basket in the bedroom we did not use. When I didn’t hear the tractor drive away, I stood at the one window and looked down. Kneeling in the driveway, Hal bent over his chainsaw, sharpening the chain. In his gloves with the split thumbs, he rammed the file down each tooth, lips drawn back from his teeth, his jaw clenched, eyes narrowed. I stepped nearer the window and studied him, his shoulders hunched over his work, oblivious to the world about him. Rasp, rasp, rasp. He shoved the file against each slender tooth.

 With increasing frequency, each morning as Hal went out to the farm work, or disappeared with Nat Gilchrist, he didn’t bother to look at the child and me. Without speaking of it, he ceased to touch me. I wondered if I had been merely a need, something as physical as oatmeal, pork, whiskey. That need he was slaking somewhere else, in whatever way. I held Tansy’s small red sweater in one hand. In my own tender place, I was red as the slender muscular tongues of birds, my internal flesh filled with folds and crevices as a peony bloom. What bit of joy I might have gathered there had quelled. Its absence was a loneliness, an emptiness in me.

from Hidden View by Brett Ann Stanciu (Green Writers Press)

 
 

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