Lot's Wife

Original Text: 
Ruth Gilbert, Collected Poems (1984): 112.
2And fleeing woman .Àæ
3One look, one final look, before it was too late
4At the small house beside the city gate
5Where she had loved, borne children, broken bread,
6Until God's angels, angry, visited
7All heaven's wrath upon its guiltless door.
8One anguished look before
9Street, temple, vine-yard, her whole past, were ash.
10If she was rash
11Were tears not salt enough?
12Forgive her, then, that blind
13And backward glance. Who has not looked behind?


1] God's angels took Lot, his wife, and their two daughters and sons-in-law from their home in Sodom and Gomorrah before raining brimstone and fire down on those cities of the plain and destroying them. God also warned: "Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed." After the cities were no more, Lot's "wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt" (Genesis 19:26). Back to Line
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
Special Copyright: 

"Lot’s Wife" &#169; Ruth Gilbert. Printed gratis, and specifically for Representative Poetry Online, with permission of the author. As published in <i>Collected Poems</i> (1984). Any other use, including reproduction for any purposes, educational or otherwise, will require explicit written permission from Ruth Gilbert.