He was Wild & Fierce

Ah, he was always laughing &
it infuriated me, he
didn’t care it seemed about
anything other than hunting &
fishing & his damn goats,
I could never get him to help w/
the wheat more than an hour,

Oh, he’d take plenty when harvest came
& leave me some dried goat meat
or venison three months later, oh he’d always give
something, but he wouldn’t work..
Brags about it too, said he’d figured it
took him about 17 hours a week of scuffing up
his feet to get what they needed to eat, & sometimes
that is just fishing,

I admit I took it easy in the winter
but if I didn’t work 10 to 16 hours a day
we wouldn’t eat every day of the year, & well just look at what I’d done
I’d built irrigation canals, a barn, our home, I have slaves
my sons dress in cotton & we employ people at looms
for trading cloth for things we do not grow,
the wheat fields & the vineyards, and we always know
where the children are & have schedules, & well..

Abel was never where he was supposed to be,
Oh you’d hear the bells on his goats, but you might
not see him for three days after you first heard them
I’d hear from my friends that they’d talked to him
long before he’d come see me, & once when I went to visit
he’d told me where he’d be & when I got there, he’d left his goats
in a valley & went off hunting for three days, next time I saw him he said,
“You knew I’d come back, you could have stayed & my wife
would have fed you cheese & berry pies &
you could have fished by the pool.”

I was always frustrated with him,  if I was not angry,
& when we were told by father to make offerings, I took
What I’d made with my own two hands, sheaves of wheat,
Clay pots, vegetables from the garden & Abel killed his three best kid goats &
When the offering was over, he became a cloud of white
& yellow light that day & had favor with Him..

I had worked for ten years to get wheat like that, the vegetables & fruit
were from a garden and groves I tended for twenty years, the fruit & nuts
had no more wild bitter taste, but was sweet & good
I was empty & felt what I had done with hard work to please
Him was nothing in His eyes, Abel gave nothing he himself had made & always
He was wild & fierce, & Abel ran to that, & he was wild & fierce & what he has
spawned is wild & fierce & I somehow wanted to make war on that..
thinking order & homes & buildings & clean clothes more important..

I was jealous, wrinkled up jealous with envy was I,
& admit it full well,
you see I made lamps
& could work with my hands &
with my wife when it was dark,
& he made fires & holed up in
smoky holes in the mountains
& lived in skin tents on the plains, yet
He loved him and showered him with blessings every day
& the herds were plentiful
& he’d begun using his goats just for milk,
because he hunted most every day but one, &
he had honey & meat & the goats had become his pets mostly

How many times did I see him in the forest
when we were boys,
when we were supposed to be
gathering mushrooms,
& instead he’d be  looking up
with his arms raised & worshiping?

Father had told me that was the source of his favor,
nevertheless, after the offering I could not take it anymore really..
I am sorry, I did not know

Now I know..
all He wanted was me,
rather than the good things I might make, or do
I’ve lost everything,
now my skin is white as sand
& my sorrow never ceases,
I must go northeast & build a city where there is no one

I have begun to wander & hope that someday I have hope,
& one day He will see me again, & I can do what is right,
despite the never-ending fact that, when
I saw my brother in the field next to  the pool laughing with joy
I crushed his skull..

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