You claim you are not your brother’s keeper
but I detect the absence of a proper fear.
What will you say when I raise the sleeper?
Though you have ears to hear, you do not hear.
I begged you not to join your father’s war
and his dreadful crimes not to recommit.
You were warned, “Sin is crouching at your door,
it desires to have you, but you must master it.”
I would not take your offering of wheat
so you swung your club to crack a brother’s skull
and left the body in the weeds—like a sacrifice of meat—
for the crooked beak of a scavenging gull.
Silence! Silence! The sleeper feels no pain,
and men will never speak the name of Cain.

Cain Kills Abel – Gustave Dore

Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord.”And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground.In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground,and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering,but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell.The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen?If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”

Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him.Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?”And the Lord said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground.And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.When you work the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth.”Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is greater than I can bear.Behold, you have driven me today away from the ground, and from your face I shall be hidden. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.”Then the Lord said to him, “Not so! If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him.Then Cain went away from the presence of the Lord and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.


Other Bible stories from Moss Kingdom:

The Cain Series: The Birth of CainThe Crime of CainThe Curse of Cain

Old Testament: Some He Bruises, Some He Bleeds: A Sestina on the CovenantsNoah Wakes from a Recurring NightmareAbram the PaganFor the Sake of the FewThe Deception of JacobThe Unspeakable NameA Sound of War in the CampA Lament for MichalThe Rape of Tamar and the Half-life of JoyNumbered Numbered Weighed Divided: a Rubaiyat concerning Belshazzar’s doom, JonahThe Years the Locusts have Consumed

New Testament: What need has He for our Democracy: A poem for Peter during his lapseSilent SaturdayDoes God still have a body?At Simon’s House

The Letters to the Churches:
ApocalypsisEphesusSmyrnaPergamumThyatiraSardisPhiladelphiaLaodicea