I Was Not Abel

Am I my brother’s keeper?
…………… —Genesis 4:9

Once I was able, but then I was not Abel,
I’d walked with Cain but was battered off my feet
—and before?

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, the crux of a yarn
told and told again, whose blood
still cries from dirt amongst my brother’s
cabbages and grains, seeps deeper
while farmer Cain, my fratricidal brother,
sobbing, muttering, also became a mythic thing
which asks, Am I my brother’s keeper?

Then I was not Abel, and Cain
was ever marked as Cain

We are characters of tales,
companions, occupants of verses,

a breeze a minstrel’s 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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