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This is the woman you don't know,

-- unnamed, undone --

though you've heard how she turned

for a last look and that

was that. No time

for those twelve chapters

to creative awakening, with accompanying

exercises. Lot kept his head

down. Why is it that a woman can't

give up what's already gone? We all know

what curiosity plus cat equals. This time

God snapped his fingers,

reduced the city to ash,

along with two of Lot's daughters, sons-in-law,

twins in the polks-dot stroller,

rattles on the rug,

a whatnot full of souvenirs:

the straw donkey from Spain, clay vase

from Mexico with the crack in it. Dishes

still in the sink, phone off the hook

and the voice of the angel

echoing loud in everyone's ear.

Told you so.

                                                                      After that

who was left

to pick up the pieces? Soon Lot was sleeping

with his younger daughters,

but it was all so dreamlike. Across the plain,

the city kept burning. People made little cries

of distress, flames leapt

from one building

to another. Smoke filled the air.

Lot's Wife

Anne Simpson

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