Alumnae Poets

Abigail Warren '86

Abigail Warren

Abigail Warren’s first chapbook, Air-breathing Life (Finishing Line Press, 2017), was nominated for the Massachusetts Book Award, and her second full length collection, Inexact Grace (Regal House Publishing, 2020), was a finalist for the Terry J. Cox Poetry Award. She was a recipient of the Rosemary Thomas Poetry Prize while at Smith.

Select Poems

You, who waited in Ithaca

patiently weaving a burial shroud

for your father-in-law

fending off lovers

while your smooth-talking husband 

was sleeping his way across the seas.


You must have wanted a lover

of your own

maybe someone to amuse your son,

show him how to be a man.

Your journey spun upon a wheel,

this weaving

pulling together scraps of wool,

patching each day, making

a thing of beauty

and undoing it, only

to sew it again.


And this is where we stand:

in the doing and the undoing

Monk-like with sand,

setting the supper table

like a mandala,

each still life

not waiting for anything

in particular,

saying yes.

Original publication: Tampa Review, 55/56