Envy's Path

Caroline Peyron September 19, 2022
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born from love sweet as harmony
Edgar sprang a dark soul of ebony
jealous of the dog’s soft tail
envy brewing in heart so stale
greedy want of neighbors’ toys
when he held their worth in coins
bitter was the ugly boy
snarling, sneering,
criminally coy.

in four years time
born another, sweet as rhyme
a boy named Reed
blossomed tenors deep as seas
he could sing and tame the wind
pluck the lute to silence sin
parents proud of Reed, their love,
he shadowed tall over Edgar, the grub.

Edgar of envy
sought his soul
wanted to peel his lute-worn skin
off of blessed bone
burn the wood in fiery hell
his brother’s final breath dispel.

and so Reed played symphonies within all hearts
abysmal ears drown in bliss of art
charmed were they
of the village and beyond
their best dreams laced with his songs.
he cradled them and softened their wounds
made every woman far and wide to swoon
Reed shone a sun in nightly skies
Edgar wanted only him to die.

given time
old envy grew too wide
Edgar was hardly recognized.
his skull protruding
skin sunken in
he lived in his own pity
in shadow of his kin.

he took a kitchen blade
at the age of ten and eight
and pierced his only brother
his singing soul agape.
the sweet release the elder felt
as he grinned on brother fell
crushed his calloused fingers
‘neath his bootheel of old iron
relishing the murder
spurred by age-old fire.

when Mother found her Reed
splintered on the floor
the village hunted Edgar
while she wept and lonely mourned

for Father had sank low
in his drowned fishing boat
and Edgar went astray
and Mother was alone.

they found him and they shot him
pierced his writhing soul
Edgar lay bloody
vanquished flesh and bone

but fratricide had been in vain
for Reed’s songs were carried beyond his name.
Edgar slept in wicked shadows
his brother eternal
in song and his echos

but still Mother weeps
her family deceased
her own pulse saddened
too slow to keep its beat.

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