The Hand of Cain

January 19, 1991|By A. Zoland Leishear

Which of us knows

what moved the hand of Cain,

what impulse cruised

the sinews of his arm,

and brought his brother down,

somewhere east of Eden?

Which of us knows

how justified he was,

how righteous his actions may have been?

We have only one report,

no opposing views or counterpoints.

Was Abel really good

or did he torment this second son?

Prosperous and loved,

he had all things in his domain,

and Cain, weakened and deprived,

just snapped,

coming home one too many times

to find his wife in rags,

his children thin.

Or was Cain just mad?

Scourged with lust or pride or greed

and cold with hate,

he just went on and found the nearest rock,

with one clean blow,

crushed the opposition to his plans.

Does it really matter

what moved the hand of Cain?

It is its movement that we note,

unleashing a tide of blood,

where it still flows,

somewhere east of Eden.

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