Lot’s Daughter, In Flight

by Małgosia Halliop

Heat roars from the sky.
I gasp air and claw hands
through the smoke.
Donkey kicks and yanks his lead
below vultures wheeling
their hunger.

Father coaxes her on
and she shuffles forward—
herself like an animal silenced
by shock.

My toes stub against
stones, trip on pebbles
scattered like stars
in a darkness that rises
to swallow us.
I must not fall here,
so close to the blackened pit
of the sky.

Mother, you stumble. Mother,
you tremble, whispering
of your daughters who stayed.
Oh, sisters, why did you linger?
Sisters, your soft hands and ribbons
are holding her back.

Mother, the world widens ahead,
but all that’s past is burning.
I reach for your arm—
Oh! You are hardened by loss.


Małgosia Halliop immigrated to Canada from Poland as a child, and has lived in Toronto for close to thirty years. In the past decade, she has been a writer, editor, artist, wildlife tracker, and nature educator. For some years she also homeschooled her two kids. She has had poems published in Prairie Fire, Event, Literary Mama, Parentheses Journal, and elsewhere.

Image: Yuheng Mei

Image description: A night sky with stars with a dark desert mountain in the foreground.