At first—a leering mob circling
the house, jeering, dancing naked,
taunting the guests with their sex—
the daughters thought their father brave
to step outside, lock the door behind him,
stretch his arms out in protection.
But then, even he offered them up,
a sacrifice to protect strangers.
Their father. The only
“righteous man” in a city destined for flames,
“Do with them what you like.
But don’t do anything to these men.”
Then their eyes were like Isaac’s
below the knife,
the ram not yet in the bush,
the blade gleaming.
What dread dug in the daughters’
betrayed hearts before the rioters,
struck blind, stumbled, fell down,
unable to find the door,
Lot tugged back safely to the house?
when they left that life behind,
eyes straight toward Zoar,
did they hear their mother turning,
her stories sliced off mid-sentence?
What kept their gaze fixed?
Their father’s almost-sacrifice
or the intervention?