The Best Literary Writing About Mothers and Motherhood

Abigail Walthausen – Poetry

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Morals

by Abigail Walthausen

What can I give
without Joseph, Doula
and sheepwives and cowwives?

A range of applied pieties,
against pan proteins
for storybook farmers
for the beauty of the earth
against a token virus.

Every coffee ground to a worm in need.
For the crystals and against the slice of Candelaria.

Every eggshell for the soil,
and carton away from turtles.

There is no story to values
{no sparkle in this set of brackets}.
If I made a shoe to hold them together
it would be coconut suede,
laces out of saffron threads.

Spine, compass, gelatin, center —
a few things only as good as their maker.


Abigail Walthausen lives in Los Angeles where she writes and teaches.

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