Sisyphus Decides

By Ciarán Parkes

SisyphusSisyphus decides—why not—

to let go of the stone he’s been rolling

up a hill for what seems like forever.


He falls back, onto the long grass, noticing

the deep groove his stone has made

in the hillside, remembers


how he would always get so far and then

it would somehow slip his grasp, start rolling

back the way it came, to wait for him


at the bottom of the hill. Now it tumbles

over a field he’s never seen before,

getting smaller, disappearing


into the blur of distance. He knows

this is hell he’s in, no doubt of it

with all the treasure here, the brightness


dragged down from the upper world and spread

out like scattered flowers and all the people,

doomed to torment, misery, the loss


of everything they’ve ever loved but still

looking, for the moment, almost cheerful.


Ciarán Parkes lives in Galway, Ireland. His poems have appeared in a number of magazines, including The Rialto,The Frogmore Papers, and The SHOp.


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