Sisyphus takes the day off

by Ed Higgins

what-ta-hell, fuck this                        

he snorts brushing 

the dust from his shoulders

reeking sweat

a rictus grimace 

bent with aching knees 

ankles a mess

soles calloused

and slit


a deserved glass of white wine

to wash away the exhaustion


yes, wash the guilt too


offending Zeus


hopeless addled dreams


God knows he can't be

switched to a worse punishment


every climb to the sky

a bittersweet birdsong

moments later fading into

echo off eroding canyon walls


his bruised heart over the years

hardened to grey stitched pain


in the winter

a fleece of snow

adding to the slipperiness

of the scree


fuck this, he says again.