Poetry

The following poetry are pieces that were selected by the Sisyphus Literary editors as the top pieces of poetry.

Ella’s Song

Collin Funck

So she was asked what she loved about it,

Her short time in the interim. She said:

The tastes of cherry and chocolate on Friday nights,

Home-style pancakes for dinner,

Soup du jour on lonely evenings in the cafe,

And when we woke up, new fruits from the market,

The sounds of cars honking outside

While jets flew overhead but not loud enough

To drown out the protesters, the strikers, and the cries of midnight drunkards,

But I would never know of it anyway,

The laugh of hers but not my own

When a paycheck arrived or when he said he would support her, but he never did, nor would,

Her tears when they said she couldn’t and her tears when she knew she shouldn’t,

Her steps into the dark lobby and her walking back to the car; her steps I heard—I heard it all.

And now I would have loved to see it all so I could understand her, my mother.

But I never will and that’s what I would have loved, for her to know that I want to know.

I want to see Mom and tell her it’s not the act or the right, but the knowing.

I was with Mom and more understanding than she knew.

Yes, it is the knowing.

Dreams of the Ardennes, 1944

Matt Friedrichs

I gaze at the stars twirling in the sky;

The woods murmur gently, whispering tales;

Soft moonlight sings a quiet lullaby;

Lady Snow lies, all signs of man she veils.


Alas, the free dream flees with my dismay;

To a prisoner of Mars I return.

Trees shroud the moon as fear my heart betrays,

My strength and spirit, the somber cold spurns.


Day surges from shells that ring through the night,

Like fireworks they paint the sky bright hues;

Dark’s battered frame stands aflame with radiant light;

They bend and twirl to the world, Death’s true muse.


I make one last wish looking to the stars:

If I’m to see Him, make the road not far.


The Fall

Joseph Dougherty


Clear and windy.


The trees beg my attention—

Orange leaves of autumnal fire,

Breeze sending tremors through the branches,

The heights dancing like flame,

Their faces shimmering by lone lamppost’s light.

The wind blows swiftly,

Sending up a solitary leaf, curled inward,

Skidding noisily along the ground.

Finally, it rises like an insect’s wings—

Membranous, frail—caught on a gale.

Shadows fade with dusk’s arrival—

Epilogue of purple twilight.



Voice

Niko Rodriguez

They say I need to find my voice,

While others rasp their way to silence

After weeks and months and years of words

Fallen on deaf ears.


They say I need to find my voice,

But there’s only so much air

To go around, and how can I

Deplete the supply

When so many others

Need it much more than I?


They say I need to find my voice,

But I’m still learning how to speak

With half of it.


Dicen que necesito encontrar mi voz

Pero no tengo confianza en mí mismo

Cuando hablo la lengua de mi padre,

De mis abuelos, de mi familia.


They say I need to find my voice,

And I guess it doesn’t help

That I’ve always been mute.

Happy to let others have their way,

To tell me what to do.


They say I need to find my voice,

So that’s what I am doing.



That Word

Philip Hiblovic


Wasted away in the dark of night

pursued by swine in city lights.


My birth-given shadow won’t suffice.

My color is the subject of every heist.

Or so they say…

But my brothers know the truth.


Nowhere to run on the wrong side of town.

For fun, they scour up and down.

From head to toe, they make me pay

for the word their grandfathers used to say.


Silence met with lethal blow.

Did the sheriff shoot me like he shot my foe?

No.

But that slur had me paralyzed.


That Word is murder

coming from you.

My brother can say it

because he knows the truth.


But you have no right

to utter That Word.

You dismiss our lives

when you utter

That Word.