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Anna Akhmatova

Anna Akhmatova

Lot's Wife

Lot's wife looked back and turned into a pillar of salt.

Genesis
Holy Lot  was a-going behind  God's angel,
He seemed  huge and bright on a hill, huge and black. 
But the heart of his wife whispered stronger and stranger:
"It's not very late, you have time to look back
At these rose turrets of your native Sodom,
The square where you sang, and the yard where you span,
The windows looking from your cozy home
Where you bore children for your dear man."
She looked -- and her eyes were instantly bound 
By pain -- they couldn't see any more at all:
Her fleet feet grew into the stony ground,
Her body turned into a pillar of salt.

Who'll mourn her as one of Lot's family members?
Doesn't she seem the smallest of losses to us?
But deep in my  heart I will always remember
One who gave her life up for one single glance. 

1922 - 1924


© Copyright, 1996
Translated from Russian by Tanya Karshtedt, 
Edited by Dmitry Karshtedt, August 1996 

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