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From Sisyphus: HEROES

Sisyphus speaking to the stars thinks about his heroes

My heroes do not throw

the javelin through space

to land beyond the farthest line,

nor do they race the country roads

in record time,

or lead their soldiers

over battlefields

and bring home bloody heads

like cabbages,

or do they stand on steps

with voices that could wake the dead

and promise they can make our pillows

soft again.

Not them.

My heroes are the ones

who plant their garlic

for the coming year

and make their compost sweet.

They sing at night

in spite of worry,

songs to help their children sleep,

who take the time to chisel stone

and make a bird in flight,

who with their hands,

weave tapestries

for beauty’s sake,

who put away their grief

and go with kindness

to a stranger’s house

they heard had neither

friends or family

to cook a meal.

My heroes’ names are seldom known

and do not think of history.

And even on this steep and barren hill,

when I look down and see through sweat

a single goldenrod

stand tall

between the stones,

I laugh and say,

“Now aren’t you brave,

you might warrior,

to fight this war

unseen by anyone

but me

and stars so far away.

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