I Was Not Abel

Am I my brother’s keeper?
…………… —Genesis 4:9
once I was able, but suddenly I was not Abel,
I’d walked with Cain and was battered off my feet

before I became a name of biblical proportions
I simply tended sheep, then suddenly
my lambs stood bleating as I lay bleeding
—the world had changed
no longer Abel 
I became a metaphor
a theological thing, crux of a yarn
told and told again, whose blood
still cries from dirt among my brother’s
cabbages and grains and seeps deeper
while farmer Cain, my fratricidal brother,
sobbing, muttering, also became a mythic thing
which asks

Am I my brother’s keeper?

when I was no more Abel
was ever Cain
now characters of tales,
companions, residents of verses,

breezes minstrels’ breath disperses
echoes in a clamor
coins in priestly purses
me the innocent
Cain the stuff of curses
by Jim Culleny


One thought on “I Was Not Abel

  1. Pingback: Time Travel | Blinktopia

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