Thursday, 11 February 2021


Mrs. Sisyphus Sweeps Acorns

by Dotty LeMieux

There he goes, hands greased against the strain
pushing that rock up that hill again and again
my man, following unheard commands, good
for nothing

So I take up my broom, wired for work
for sweeping the fallen nuts
of end of summer harvest, acorns on the path
we trod morning and night

Tripping hazards, as the rock my man’s
invitation to disaster, a race
he can’t win, but might kill him
in trying

Better he should tinker
under the hood of some old car
the neighbors say, tsking like
the old women of Chekov

a dead Triumph or maybe a Ford
Better to stall the old mower
on the tall crunch of weeds
or get acorns in the gears

No, he’s got to show the gods how tough
he is, rugged man who can muscle
a boulder over and over
to no purpose whatsoever

and me left here to sweep piles
satisfying anyway to fill the cans
with fruit to feed the birds
and crafty critters of the night

Women’s work, say the neighbors,
is useful, but why not plant a different
tree, one that bears apples
pears, or sticky black figs

Why not store up for coming winter
the slippery path, the boulder’s relentlessness
that bodes a mutual harvest
an inevitable ending of this myth

Because no matter how hard we try
there is no end of the path
no rainbow sign
no happy ending

Say what you will, consistency
has its rewards, acorns fall, rocks
roll on, entropy sustains us
in the ongoing saga of never.

* * * * *

Dotty LeMieux’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in publications such as Rise Up Review, Poets Reading the News, Gyroscope, MacQueen’s Quinterly, anthologies such as the Marin Poetry Center Anthology, Moonshadow Sanctuary Press’s Enskyment,  and others. She has had four chapbooks published, the latest just out from Finishing Line Press, entitled Henceforth I Ask Not Good Fortune. In the 1980’s, she edited the literary magazine Turkey Buzzard Review, in Bolinas California.

Her day jobs are running political campaigns, mainly for progressive women, and practicing environmental law in Marin County California, where she lives with her husband and two dogs.

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