Finders, Keepers, Brothers

And the LORD said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”
“I do not know,” Cain said, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
Genesis 4:9

In Keeping
by Mary Harwell Sayler

Someone should discover flint
for striking fire to send signals
made of smoke or devise a drum
from thin skins of animals stroked
into softness then stretched into
roundness to be beaten into
an oddly hollow sound.

Someone should learn
to yodel in a range
of mountains or arrange
a system for sending sequential
codes on air with interceptive
devices everywhere a tribe or
person remains somewhat ready
to receive what’s being said.

Someone should take charcoal
and mark rolls of parchment with
characters aligning straight lines
of words into the pronouncing of
a sentence.

Someone should write a book,
a map, a mini-series for TV.
Someone should set hooks
and parallel wires on poles
to zigzag the horizon,
reconfiguring the sky in
a random maze that amazes
even the birds.

Someone should hollow out
a satellite dish that allows us
to fax, phone home, email, or
text message each other to keep
in touch with mothers, fathers,
sisters, brothers, neighbors,
and others known to need
close keeping.

©2013, Mary Harwell Sayler, all rights reserved. First published in a 2011 issue of Contemporary Literary Horizon, this poem later appears in the book of Bible-based poetry, Outside Eden, published in 2014 by Kelsay Books.



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