Beautiful Daughters

The shop sells beaded moccasins and nesting dolls, tiny cuckoo clocks, chokecherry jelly, and T-shirts. I’ve visited before and bought a decorative bowl made from dried orange skins. An absurd little thing I put away.

The Amana Colonies are no longer places where people live and work according to God’s will. There’s nothing left but a place for tourists to come and try to imagine what it once was. A large woman in her car is parked in front of the church/museum, eating a bagel, with the air conditioner fanning her hair. She has Clorox disinfectant wipes on the backseat, and for some reason this makes me sad, this careful germ-free loneliness. But I’m here to make the best of things.

My two girls slump behind me. I can almost hear their words. They’re trying to make a statement.

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