EDITORS’ CHOICE – THE 2019 SANDY CRIMMINS
NATIONAL PRIZE IN POETRY
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. www.rgevanswriter.com.