Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Sisyphusian Condition

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I am tired, defeated,
a nightgown-clad Sisyphus
making waffles and eggs,
washing dishes, folding laundry,
pushing the boulder of domestic chores
up the hill day after day.

My muscles ache, and I long to rest—
to slip into soft sweet sleep,
alone and unneeded,

but I have to wash the same dishes again.
I close my eyes and bemoan the fates
when a glass clinks against the edge
of the sink, and I hear my coin
dropping into Charon's pouch.

I feel the stab, the ache in my chest
as my heart pounds the reminder:
time is short, and the ferry moves closer every day.

I sweep up my crumb-covered toddler,
cover him with kisses,
and dance him past piles of laundry
and scattered toys, dirty dishes and daily messes,
sempiternal messes—
a privilege of the living.


Ava Love Hanna is a writer, performer, and award-winning speaker in Austin, Texas. She has been a featured storyteller in Listen to Your Mother, SXSWi, and other shows. Her plays are regularly produced in Austin and Houston and her most recent comedy was published in ScriptWorks 20/20: 20 Short Plays from 20 Years of Out of Ink.


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Fantastic! Captures all the mommy feelings so beautifully.
Really beautiful - thank you. (I too am so surprised when people think I'm a grown up - especially teenager - I think - why are you acting like I'm an authority?)
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