Imagine Sisyphus Happy


Imagine Sisyphus Happy

by R.G. Evans


Does he whistle as he sweats and groans

the boulder up the mountain?

Does he ever think At least i’m not at home

where my daughter wants to die

trembling  there at the summit

just before the rock rolls down?

As he follows it, his mind might wander

to the time his daughter screamed

Sixteen years in this goddamn house

with your failed marriage as my roommate!

What did she know about what god has damned?

Maybe he smokes, letting gravity do its job

one step at a time. Eternity is eternity after all,

no room here for a goldbricking soul.

If one can imagine Sisyphus happy,

it isn’t hard to picture him grinding his butt

beneath his toe, cracking his knuckles,

and glancing at Tantalus in his lake

beneath the trees, bending as the water recedes.

And yet, Sisyphus wonders,

was that a wink he saw from his damned neighbor

when the fruit pulled away out of reach?

At least the bastard’s in the shade, he thinks

and shrugs his flesh into the stone.

R.G. Evans’s books include Overtipping the Ferryman (Aldrich Poetry Press Prize 2013), The Holy Both (Main Street Rag), and The Noise of Wings (Red Dashboard Press). His debut album of original songs, Sweet Old Life, was released earlier this year and is available on most streaming services.