The Stone Coyotes

The Mark of Cain

The Stone Coyotes
B. Keith


One night I went out walking
Down a dark, untravelled street
And by a house all boarded up
A man I chanced to meet

I asked him as I passed him by
"What brings you to this place?"
For the lamplight clearly showed
His pale and haunted face

He said' "A woman lived here long ago
The fairest of them all -
I remember she wore a light blue dress
he night I came to call

In one hand I had a diamond ring
In the other hand a gun
When she turned me down, I shot her to the ground
And no one saw me run"

He said, "I do not dress in prison blues
I wear no ball and chain
But wherever I go, and whatever I do
I bear the mark of Cain"

His words made me back away
He said, "You have nothing to fear from me
For you're looking at a man whose soul is damned
Throughout eternity

In my dreams I see her still
Lyin' by me dead
I wake up in a cold sweat
The flames of hell around my bed

You can carve it on my headstone
That all may read it plain
'This dust that once was flesh and bone
Still bears the mark of Cain'"