Mrs. Sisyphus by Mark J. Mitchell

Mark J. Mitchell studied writing at UC Santa Cruz under Raymond Carver, George Hitchcock and Barbara Hull. His work has appeared in various periodicals over the last thirty five years, as well as the anthologies Good Poems, American Places,Hunger Enough, Retail Woes and Line Drives. His chapbook, Three Visitors has recently been published by Negative Capability Press. Artifacts and Relics, another chapbook, is forthcoming from Folded Word and his novel, Knight Prisoner, will be published in the coming months. He lives in San Francisco with his wife, the documentarian and filmmaker Joan Juster.

Read more by Mark Mitchell in the latest issue of In Parentheses!


Mrs. Sisyphus sighs,
shaking her hoary, harried head.
“Men,” she mourns,
“never look around.”
She sweeps away the pebbles
broken by the boulder,
just to keep the pathway clear
behind her heaving husband.
It’s important that
the rock roll straight.

“This all could have been avoided
if he’d stayed dead the first time.
But I had to be a good wife
and cancel all the funeral fuss.
I only did what I was told.”

She looks at the long way
up the hill and the long way back.
“Well.” she says to no one, “someone
must imagine Sisyphus happy.”

%d bloggers like this: