how did the pretzel cross the road?
We followed a narrow drive lined by trees down to the house and the barn. The house was brick, covered over in plaster. The man with the fiddle and the man with the guitar stood in the entryway and played music. Can we get there? Can we get there? Yes. The cat rubbed up against the palms of our hands. We sat by the well and ate a dry crumb cake. The ponies were in the distance. The hay was being ridden. The plow was tearing up the field. The quarter horse stood and stared at us and flared his nostrils. That is how he breathes. He takes air in and breathes it out. The nostrils flap open and flap shut. His head was bigger than the baby’s body. The baby was almost three and liked to make jokes. How did the pretzel cross the road? To get to the other side. Back home, there were the birds in the bird bath. There was my wrinkly skin. There was Charlotte’s Web. No, there was a spring day with blossoms and there was Charlotte’s Web on a bed in sunshine. There was the front stoop and there were the flowers drying in their pots. There were the hydrangeas that never bloomed. There was a week of rain. There were the birds who complained. Or maybe they were happy. It was impossible to distinguish their happiness from their cries of distress.