Pat Jones

Pillar of Salt

by Kean Kaufmann

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Endurance is a hardening within.
I thought at first the hardness was outside,
and crystallized the silences to hide
my softness, white and perfect, safe from sin;
I felt my numbness was a way to win
the game that would be over if I cried.
But when I bore my daughters, though I tried
to hold them, tears seeped through and seared their skin.
And now they are their father’s and not mine:
Lot taught them how to “make him drunk” with wine
and play his game, pretending not to see
the way he leers at them and jeers at me.
It cannot help but happen. So I turn
my face away, and watch the city burn.

A mild-mannered computer programmer by day, Kean Kaufmann lives near Washington, D.C. with two cats, a dog and a linguist. Her poems have also appeared in Fickle Muses, Lucid Rhythms and Soundzine.