Green Hills Literary Lantern



To My 7th Grade Algebra Teacher, Mr. Cardine



Of course I was shocked

when you asked me to babysit

your 2 year-old twins,

so you and Mrs. Cardine could

go Christmas shopping. I,

who spent that year

in and out of the vice principal’s


smoking cigarettes behind the gym,

thrown out of school for my

foul mouth,

even the science teacher, Miss Beauchamp,

wouldn’t leave me alone

with the Bunsen burners,

and you?

You set a place for me at your kitchen table

where the twins sucked up

spaghetti like worms,

I did, too

and we all laughed;

and you left me there,

sitting in the rocking chair

between two cribs

holding your daughter, Annie,

and all I could think about

was that you knew

you really knew

how safe they were with me.




Abigail Warren lives in Northampton, Massachusetts and teaches at Cambridge College. Her work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in print and on-line, in Tin House Reels, The Delmarva Review, Pearl, Brink Magazine, Sanskrit, Emerson Review, Hawai'i Pacific Review, The Clarion, Bluestem, among others.  She was a recipient of the Rosemary Thomas Poetry Prize while at Smith College She is thrilled to announce her new collection,  Air-Breathing Life, (Finishing Line Press, 2017) is now available.