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A Brief History of Treason
- Michael Steven
Many say it kicked off on a crop field.
They tell of the two model sons.
The first brothers. They will tell of the rock
concealed in the hand of the eldest,
how the youngest fell, how his blood
was said to speak as it leached into the soil.
And then of the voice that asks the questions,
the voice that answers back, that always defines it:
the first strike by man against the state of Man.
The popular reason will be jealousy
of the others wife, the offering refused.
Painters, poets, preachers and scholars
show the details shift as the motive wanders.
Told by many it will all be told again:
Raven claw, snake belly, victim or martyr.
The ground is scarred. There will be more of this.
• Michael Steven has had work published in local and international journals. He is taking part in the reading for National Poetry Day on Friday, 7pm-9pm at Dunedin Public Library.