Volume 32, Number 1

What's the Very First Thing You Do upon Waking?

Do your eyes open to the smell of fresh coffee,
listen to the birds outside your half-opened window,
jump up to pee while the bathroom is unoccupied or
stick your head out of doors, check the temperature,
and confirm the beauty of yet another day.

Do you lie there eyes closed reviewing the dream
you just had, trying to write it down in your head
lest it be forgotten. Perhaps the first thing is reaching
for your phone to see who replied while you slept,
and who needed to share what they ate.

Or perhaps that's all changed, and the very first thing
as you wake and remember, is to jump to the television,
to see if everything's there, if our country is still there,
our democracy, our capital, our newly elected,
our hope for the future, for another day.

—Richard J. Rosenthal