July 12th, 2009


APED: "brother's keeper"

The dirt was red with blood
unearned and gained by sloth
and the scent of scorched meat rose into the air.
And you'd scrabbled in the mud --
toil for nothing; you waxed wroth ---
reached out and you found the rock was there.

Brother's keeper, brother's killer,
all the same thing in the end.
You keep him where you left him, six feet down.
Brother's keeper, brother's killer,
you can hide and lie, but then
someday all your old sins come around.

You left his meat to rot.
Your sheaves, trod underfoot.
Left your gardens and his herds, and fled away.
But you've planted in your plot,
and a weed grows from that root,
and people see your mark if you should try to stay.

Brother's keeper, brother's killer,
brother's brother, brother's friend,
you took his life, and cast your friend away:
and the chill wind just blows chiller,
and it's lonely in the end,
for the marked man who's forgotten how to pray.