December 21, 2019 by The Citron Review
by Shannon K. Winston
Early on, I learned how to put a spin on things—
something I picked up from the spinners in my hometown.
Me, the quiet observer who watched artisans
at fairs and in storefront windows turning batting,
spool by spool, into fine, magnificent strands.
Magenta, turquoise, purple—the seamlessness of it all.
A luscious tapestry I yearned to dive into. I wove the most eloquent deceptions.
See, there are just too many guys to choose from.
He’s an economist who travels for work. How carefully I tucked away
the strands that might betray me.
I haven’t found the right man, I told the vendor at the market
who asked about my family while selling me soap in purple wax paper.
Some lies, too, were beautiful in their half-truths: no, she’s just a good friend.
I cherished those the most. She gave me a key so I could check on the plants.
More and more my words tangled in all the wrong places, when I blushed
too much or smiled too little. When I was caught
circling the block in a neighborhood that wasn’t mine. My husband.
Too many guys. Right man. Friend. I tripped
on invisible spools. Love: a plush knotted turquoise. At night,
after cleaning away the lies, I reclined on purple wax paper
and wove a tapestry syllable by magenta syllable,
hoping it would sustain my weight.
Shannon K. Winston’s poems have appeared in SWWIM Every Day, The Los Angeles Review, and Dialogist, among others. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and several times for the Best of the Net. She earned her MFA at Warren Wilson College. Find her here: shannonkwinston.com.