The Spinners


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:


One thought on “The Spinners

  1. […] Read the rest of “The Spinners” and the poem “Peer” on (or near) this link […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow us and receive notifications of new issues by email.

%d bloggers like this: