In the Morning When I First Begin to Stir

by Julie Flattery

before I register the daylight squeezing its way through the slats in my blinds; before I notice the symphony of cicadas in the Live Oak Tree outside my window; before I decide to give myself one more minute, turning my pillow over to the cool side, shifting to a new position, and pulling the sheet up over me from its usual morning spot—crumpled way down at the foot of the bed; before the tail end of the last dream I had makes one final quick and fuzzy appearance before being forgotten forever; before I start making my to do list for the day in my head of errands and work deadlines and hopefully a yoga class; before I begin to wonder if this is a day I’ll look at the news or pretend it doesn’t exist; before I transition from that brief but sweet moment upon waking when my brain has not yet registered that there’s still a pandemic and racism and homophobia and threats to both our democracy and environment; before that pit in my stomach begins to form; before all of this, I take one deep breath, my nose searching hopefully for the smell of fresh coffee that, when it hits, comes with the reassurance that my terminally ill mom is up and about and has made it to another day.

Julie Flattery’s work has been published in Idle Ink, Red Fez, Brevity’s Nonfiction Blog, and Meat for Tea and is forthcoming in Atlas and Alice. Six of her plays have been performed at the iDiOM theater in Bellingham, WA. She writes professionally about architecture and building design. You can find her on Twitter at @Julzywrites.

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