Author: Mary Langer Thompson

Tired of being called “Sissy,” Sisyphus went to the school field each morning until he found the perfect stone. His mother blamed the teacher for getting him excited about geology when he began to roll his pebble up the playground hill. He really had nothing better to do, and no friends, except maybe Diogenes who yelled at him to stop, but Sisyphus couldn’t make out what he was saying. Soon he became obsessed and thought everyone expected him to push his rock, so never questioned his job. As he pushed, the pebble grew bigger and bigger until it was the size of a boulder, having gathered old homework, low grades, and bully names. At the summit, Sisyphus released the rock. He hoped as it rolled down, before it was time to roll it back up again, that it would squash the school and everybody in it.

“School of Hard Rocks” was published in the San Gabriel Valley Poetry Quarterly #25, Fall, 2004.

“He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.”
2 Samuel 22:20

In the beginning
God attended the angels’ party, and
as a white elephant gift,
God received man, woman, and child.
And upon seeing them,
God laughed his big, holy laugh and
said to the angels,
“I will place them on planet earth,
and you will see them again, after a time,
And they will have become even funnier,
and more delightful.”