Sisyphus Alone

by Ann E. Wallace
I think the word I’m looking for
is apogee, to describe the high point I was
reaching for, had been assured
was just a few bold steps away

but maybe I had the definition mixed
up because that November day
when you promised me the future
from atop a stone-cold boulder
gazing steady and down
on the people so small

was no more than
the nadir, a depth seen
in distorted reflection and
mistaken for height,
the false point from which
I forced myself to turn around
and stand alone, ready to begin
pushing the tumbled boulder
up the jagged mountain anew

again, just when I thought
my battle with that blasted rock
was over, thought
we had pushed and struggled
and balanced it precisely
in place at the top
of the world

but when you jumped off without
warning, or me, the balance
jostled and shifted until I fell, the sharp
pain of the gray weight upon me
at the bottom
of the manmade chasm
Ann E. Wallace writes of life with illness, motherhood, and other everyday realities. Her work has recently appeared in The Capra Review, Juniper, The Literary Nest, Eunoia Review, Rogue Agent, The Same, and other journals. She lives in Jersey City, NJ where she teaches English at New Jersey City University. She is online at AnnWallacePhD.com and on Twitter @annwlace409.

© 2018, Ann E. Wallace