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by Laura Garrison

But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.
— Genesis 19:26

Perhaps she dawdled, choosing what to pack,
while you were outside pacing on the lawn.
You tossed some bread and dried meat in a sack;
her preparations just went on and on.
Eventually you left. You walked in front.
What happened when you noticed she was gone?
Did you keep going, uttering a grunt
of mild chagrin, leaving her to dissolve
in the next good rainstorm? Or did you hunt
for windblown grains of your wife and resolve
to keep them safe, away from the spice rack?
The final puzzle that I cannot solve
is not, “What made her resolution crack?”
but, “What the hell kept you from looking back?”

Laura Garrison currently lives in Maryland with her husband. She likes gothic novels, chamomile tea, and shiny objects. Some of her other poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Puffin Circus, Umbrella’s Bumbershoot Annual, Turtle Quarterly, and Camroc Press Review, among others.

Pat Jones
Published 29 March 2011