The Brother

by Michael Schmidt

Michael Schmidt

Why is his sacrifice
More suitable than mine?
I give the grain I've sown
And he, sheep from his flock.
Mine is a laboured gift,
His a giving back.

It is not what I give -
Rather, my shape you despise.
You light his flame to see

A body nicely formed
For sitting on a hill
Above a bleating flock
And playing on a reed
A parody of praise.

You make my flame slow
And smokier than light.
My arms and legs are scarred
From moving in sharp grass.

I am no idol for
The god who made the snake
Or the abhorrent tree.
My praise is in the field
Enacting punishment.

If beauty's not my tithe,
But only what I do,
If what I am attracts
No more than a slow flame,
I know what I can kill
To draw your eye to me.

Last updated July 18, 2021