Don’t Look Back

by Gifford Savage

Don’t look back, 
she was warned.
But she looked!
What was it
that made her look?

Was it defiance because 
she was told not to do it?
Or perhaps just the murmur 
of a doubt, that nothing would happen
if she did?

Was she moved
to look back in remembrance 
for a life forsaken?
Or was it the dark allure of death 
and distress unfolding behind?

Was it for another reason entirely?
Could it have been mercy
that caused her to turn?
Did she stop to groan in compassion
for her people?

Longing to gather them even as a hen 
gathers her chicks under her wings.
In her grief,
was she compelled to be with them
to partake of their suffering?

Was it for this, then
she was turned to salt?
Because God could not forgive her
that desire, or, 
because He did?

Gifford Savage is from Bangor, Northern Ireland. His poetry has appeared in a number of journals, including Poetry NI, Lagan Online, Poetry 24, The Bangor Literary Journal, The New Verse News, the 2022 anthology ‘Across the Threshold’ and previously in Agape Review. He has performed his poetry on local television station ‘Northern Visions TV’ and was winner of the Aspects Festival Poetry Slam 2022.

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