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,
a privilege of the living.