To Preserve November
by Sarah Ann Winn

1. Begin by shaping your mouth into the shape of your mother’s when she was concentrating, or pinning a hem, her lips more full of barbs than usual.

2. Unravel the right front pocket of your favorite jeans, until you can poke your index finger through its new hole.

3. From that space, produce the long lost engagement ring of your great aunt, left to you in her will, as she saw only potential for crafting, was blind to your gift for loss.

4. Go into your garden in the full snow moon. Cut the dried lunaria, the money plant’s branches, the ones most full of pods. Make sure that you have the exact number of dried pods which always filled the tall vase in the hall this time of year.

5. While you are still in the garden, do a silhouette tracing of the gingko, outlining each crenellated leaf. Once indoors, cast these in gold, chain glittering cameos of each leaf to their proper cousins. Dangle them over the railing up your front steps.

6. Draw from memory the lace of your daughter’s bridal veil. Train a pair of delicately whorled snails to trace the lines over and over. Set them free, surprise her with the glimmering replica on your stoop when she returns home.


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 17, Issue 4.

Sarah-Ann-WinnSarah Ann Winn lives in Virginia. Her poems have appeared or will appear in’s Day One, Bayou Magazine, Massachusetts Review, Quarterly West, and RHINO, among others. Her chapbook, Portage, is forthcoming from Sundress Publications this winter. Visit her at or follow her @blueaisling on Twitter.

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