Lotís Wife

 

And the just man trailed God's messenger,

His huge, light shape devoured the black hill.

But uneasiness shadowed his wife and spoke to her:

"It's not too late, you can look back still

 

At the red towers of Sodom, the place that bore you,

The square in which you sang, the spinning-shed,

At the empty windows of that upper storey

Where children blessed your happy marriage-bed."

 

Her eyes that were still turning when a bolt

Of pain shot through them, were instantly blind;

Her body turned into transparent salt,

And her swift legs were rooted to the ground.

 

Who mourns one woman in a holocaust?

Surely her death has no significance?

Yet in my heart she will never be lost,

She who gave up her life to steal one glance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anna Akhmatova †††††††††††††††††††

(from Anno Domini, 1922)†††††††