POOR MRS. LOT
And so it was that Lot’s hard-ears wife
became a pillar of solid eye water.
Poor woman, frozen there crystalline
up from ground, salt stalagmite.
One last glance at what you left behind:
your mother’s cutlery, your yellow plates.
One more look behind to memorize
the lay, the order of the landscape.
The red water tank. The church spire.
One last look is enough to petrify.
Like you, she should have cried
as she left, not daring to look back,
savouring hard homeground with salt.
Excerpted from Travelling Mercies by Lorna Goodison. Copyright © 2001 by Lorna Goodison. Excerpted by permission of McClelland & Stewart, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.