Sarah Ann Winn

She rode the teal bicycle all the way from doorstep to trail, carrying a backpack crammed
with bottle caps, a basketball of red yarn, and a battery powered glue gun.  A box
was strapped behind her, containing all the license plates she could find.  It had taken years of
collecting from double parked cars, and ones without handicap hang tags parked in
handicap spots, but she finally had all the states.  She walked until she came to the clearing
by the lake, where the trail was always soggy, but the slab of rock reaching out above the
lake was always dry.  She tried a couple of different angles for her kickstanded bike, til the
lake was framed by the parallelogram above the pedals.  The white seat challenged her, so
she took from her pocket a bottle of cherry nail polish, and painted over the plastic with
careful paisleys.  With the license plates, she fashioned a suit of armor for the bicycle,
turning it into a lean samurai tank with curly red yarn bows, a look achieved by unraveling
twenty red sweaters, only one made for the bull on Wall Street.  In places the teal peaked
through.  It’s one thing to knit bomb.  It’s another to unmake nature.  Sweaters have a lot of
yarn winding around inside them, all potential.  She put the yarn ball, now as big as an
ostrich egg beside the samurai bike, and took up her glue gun.  From her knees, she dotted
a mandala of glue dabs and anchored bottle caps in a mosaic of the earth, with the bicycle at
the very top, parked illegally at the North Pole.  It could at any moment ride south with the
ice caps.  It didn’t seem safe since coasting and braking were achieved in the same motion
of pedaling backwards.  Her favorite cap read Jolt!.  It looked like a small prayer.  It looked
like an imperative. She wondered if it would do any harm to place it just under the front


Sarah Ann Winn’s lives in Fairfax, Virginia.  Her book reviews have appeared in School Library Journal, and So to Speak. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Midnight Circus, Vine Leaves Quarterly, Nassau Review, and Two Thirds North among others.  Visit her at or follow her @blueaisling on Twitter.


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