Lot’s Wife


Claire Scott

she who wrapped what little she had in a worn scarf
walked for two days and two nights
under the glare of the sun

       the skull of the moon

she who loved the city with its red spirals,
clay dwellings, its desert dust and grit
the spinning wheel where she sang of Sodom

       while twisting flax and fleece

the city of a forever-unnamed woman who
prepared a feast for two strangers
baked flat bread over a low fire

       roasted lamb dipped in salt

she who lingered and looked back
rough hands shading her eyes
she who lingered and turned

was it to see if her daughters were behind
dresses dragging on the bone-dry plain
did she forget the angels’ words

        worn from hours of walking

did she mean to disobey, tired of men’s
orders, tired of a harsh god’s orders
no longer caring, perhaps even longing  

        to disappear before

her city was destroyed by fire or

        swallowed by the sea