Nursery Rhyme by Ann E. Michael Here is the crooked man, his house collapsing slowly upon its crooked lot. The path he’s walked, though full of steeps and turns, was straight enough for him. And for the lopsided hound who now limps down the skewed oak stairs to greet him at the mangled gate. She waits, wags her broken tail as he checks for mutilated mail in his car-struck postbox. What forces pulled his fences to and fro, a wracked row of splintered posts— quake? hurricane? deep snow? The crooked roof, the crooked stile, he wills himself to smile (a crooked smile). That sixpence won’t begin to pay the note his crooked banker wrote so one more burden shifts his backbone further out of whack. What was it that made him so slant, shoved spine, hip, and knee— Experience? or gravity? Gyroscope Review 31 !