Salt Sister

Salt Sister
a parody of  Silt Whisper by Ailbhe Darcy

That summer everyone stopped being wild:
we learned his rules, left town to burn.

Smoke filled air. Bodies lay unturned.
The wrath of god was another high.

I had been a sinner in a polygamous glut,
craving sex, salt, instance, but now

Lot drew up lists; mapped out escape routes; shared
prophecies of doom; got the hell out.

The only record of that time the pillars of salt,
the memory of sight in cupped hands.

For a short while I paused to catch a breath:
I couldn’t help but look back.


The original poem by Ailbhe Darcy is called Silt Whisper. A beautiful poem which resonates with me as the speaker expresses a yearning for the past; a moment in time where she was able to simply enjoy the moment- it seems to have been a unique time which perhaps is lost now -just a memory difficult to ‘set down’.  I am intrigued by the title Silt Whisper.

I enjoyed using the form, structure and voice of this poem to retell the Old Testament story of Lot and his wife who was turned into a pillar of salt for daring to look back on the burning city of Sodom.  I saw parallels between the story and Darcy’s poem.  I wonder why she looked back and what it was she was thinking when she did.

I thought I should explain because clearly this poem isn’t really my own work at all.

Please read the original poem here: Silt Whisper by Ailbhe Darcy



I left the comfort of my youth with a sense of little ease,
how they taunted and tried to drown you in whispering seas
transformed violently into torrents; a frothing, foamy crowd,
and when hysteria snaked through, they waved and cried aloud –
but the song of yours was a song (a prayer) that washed ashore
like a desperate note in a bottle, as out of some folklore,
where pebbles and summer love and lustrous pearls
hiding in oyster shells, dance on the sand and truth unfurls,
and in that moment of my youth, I glimpsed a love so rare,
skim the crest of the waves, skip lightly away without a care.


(inspired by Humbert Wolfe’s beautiful poem, Denmark )