kathleen brewin lewis

Sisyphus in Autumn

          –for Jeff

Dry leaves layer the lawn,
scuttle noisily in the wind,
like crabs aross the concrete.
But the rain decoupages them
into patterns on the driveway.

Because he treasures his acre of suburbia,
he labors for hours to uncover
the smooth carpet of dim grass,
clear the ragged piles from the sidewalk.
It looks really nice now, she tells him when he finishes,
as he hangs the blower on a hook in the carport,
removes the protective earphones from his head.
But even as she says this, she can see over his shoulder –
a few leaves stealing back onto their property,
as if the trees were coyly dropping crisp handkerchiefs or
sending brown-paper missives
slowly down to earth.

In a couple of days, he will begin again.


I have been gone from here long enough
to startle at the sight of seagulls
in the Publix parking lot
where I have come to collect
my mother’s prescriptions.
Their cries set off a spinning in my head.
At the center of the gyre:
my father and me,
on the beach building drip castles,
our hands curved into birds’ beaks,
liquescent sand dribbling through our fingers.

Kathleen Brewin Lewis is an Atlanta writer whose prose, poetry, and prose poetry has appeared in Weave Magazine, The Southern Poetry Anthology Vol. V: Georgia, Bolts of Silk, and Slice of Life. She recently received her MA in Professional Writing from Kennesaw State University and is the Senior Editor of a new online journal, Flycatcher: A Journal of Native Imagination.