Sisyphean Again

Words by Lydia, 18 VIC

I have a newfound sympathy for Sisyphus.
Every time I near the top of homemade mountains,
within grasping distance of gold-star successes,
the boulder of my progress slips from my grip,
rolls over my foot and races back down to where I started.

Everything is mountains and valleys now, peaks and troughs.
The numbers rise and fall and my confidence wavers.
This will be over soon, they tell me. It’ll all be over.
But there will always be the next struggle:
blood-sky fires, or burning hate spat forth
into personal gyres of worry and grief.

I rely too heavily on momentum, find myself
stuck halfway up the next incline,
panting for breath and pushing forever uphill –
Sisyphean again
and lonely.

There is an echo of footsteps, a hand on my back.
You put your weight behind the boulder,
Flash a tired grin and we stumble forward together.
Remember, you say, you twice cheated death.
You can keep pushing, against the odds.

Illustration by AileenYou can find more of her work on Instagram @aileenetc

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