Remember Lot's Wife
SHARI WAGNER, et al
Remember her touching the worn table,
its deep grooves marking the meals
offered to her beloved tribe.
Remember her seeing the weaving
unfinished, breakfast dishes in the sink,
eastern light tracing a grandchild’s
clay figurines. Remember her leaving
with turmoil in her heart, confusion
in her mind, the push/pull of going
but wanting to stay. Remember her
walking, leaving her daughters
to the burdens and trailing farther
and farther as her legs nagged her
to stop, to take a single step away from
the unknown destination. Remember
her hearing mews, bleats, and cries,
panicked hooves, sounds of scramble.
Remember her smelling sulfur,
her nostrils full of smoke and ashes
of former homes and pets and friends.
Remember her tasting ash in the air—
desiring instead the sweet grapes
from her vines. Remember her standing
on a slant of earth that begged her
backward. Remember her turning, nearly
shouting that she could not continue,
but despairing of any power to arrest
the curving of her right foot across
her left, the grinding of her left heel
as it pivoted toward doom.
This collaborative poem was written by Shari Wagner’s workshop, “In the Company of Lot’s Wife: Writing Poems of Remembering and Witness,” on 6/15/2019.
Participants: DENISE BUSCHMANN, DAN CARPENTER, DONNAMARIE FLANAGAN, MARY JANE GANDOUR, CYNTHIA RAGSDALE, ANNA STYERS-BARNETT
SHARI WAGNER was Indiana's Poet Laureate in 2016 and 2017, and is author of three books of poems: The Farm Wife’s Almanac, The Harmonist at Nightfall: Poems of Indiana, and Evening Chore.