GH (5 3 38 / leipzig)


The famous fable,
Cain and Abel,
very gory,
is the story
how one brother
killed another.
Yet I wonder
was the blunder
caused by Cain,
as men maintain,
or by First Adam
and his madam?
Did father, mother
of each brother
give enough
parental love,
or was the older
brother colder
to the younger
with a hunger
for his love,
impatient of
noblesse oblige
he thought egre-
ious, when it dealt
with rules he felt
regarding sibling
love were quibbling?

When on the brink,
what did Cain think
before he saw
the blood and gore?
Where did he stare
when God said: “Where
is Abel? ” (What
he said was not
an answer he
believed would be
recorded by
the Lord on high.)

Cain means “by
the Lord on high
Created”. Did
God, God forbid,
lie with his mother,
while his brother,
was left to fade,
his name of “breath”
predicting death?

Did Cain repent
once he’d been sent
away by God
to Land of Nod,
and, forced to roam,
did he miss home
and brother Abel,
quite unable
to understand
the dreadful hand
he’d dealt his brother,
though no other
course would have
reduce by half
the second gen-
eration Men?

Perhaps his dad
and mom were glad,
once they, bereft,
found they were left
an empty nest.
Did it seem best
for Adam, Eve
that both sons leave
their home? “No kids.
or pets, or Yids, ”
they may have said,
and gone to bed,
where they gave breath
of life to Seth,
a sort of counter-
Cain and founder
of mankind,
successful sower
before Noah,
farmer, herder,
free from murder,
Cain and Abel
both unable
to continue
mankind’s sinew,
joint distinction
their extinction,
Bible classic.


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Pablo Neruda

If You Forget Me

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