Thursday, June 9, 2011

Lot's Wife

lot said
don’t look over your shoulder darling
god said don’t look over your shoulder

but lord / she’d left behind
more than bricks & mortar

beneath the backyard olive tree
lay the bones of a baby daughter

keep walking
don/t look over your shoulder
keep walking

in the end / of course
they warned her in vain
& now we all know lot’s wife
we all learn lot’s wife’s tale:
how she disobeyed
glanced back
& turned to salt in god’s wrath

but lord
we don’t even know her name

lot’s wife
don’t look over your shoulder
lot’s wife

she’d walked free
but the smell of burning flesh
was on her tongue
it rained ash / she choked
back smoke & screamed
lot / i can’t run

don’t look over your shoulder
darling

lot / i can’t run

& as she turned
& saw
the melted screams
on the bodies of babes she’d held
while breathing / she said
lot / if this is god
i can’t believe

& lot’s wife was right:
hers was never a question of faith
the truth is always worth the price you pay

when they say
don’t look over your shoulder
keep walking
i turn

when they say
don’t look over your shoulder
lot’s wife

i turn

i will not run
& let my city burn