I particularly struggled with this when I was living in England and studying for my Masters in English Literature. Because my classes were so late in the morning or in early afternoon, I had no obligation to keep a regular schedule. I set my alarm for eight anyway, though I found myself more often than not getting up at nine and my actual work starting at ten. I’ve gotten better, especially since I’ve graduated and since my new phone has a snooze function with ten-minute intervals instead of five. But I’m not always there.
The following poem is about that struggle. But I also like to think that it’s more than that. I’m more than that. It’s dedicated to those who don’t want to get up in the morning, those who’d rather sleep just a little later than deal with the coming day. You’ve got this.
I’ve stared at my calendar,
I cannot seem to circle the day
today—tomorrow—is like a pool,
am lying on its edge.
Please don’t ask me to swim.
not yet—just five more minutes,
promise I’ll get up—I’ll crawl
the shore and plunge into the depths.
I can swim—stroke after stroke—
hours of swimming but just
one arm after another.
I can do that. I can breathe.
Lay on my back and feel
the rain patter down.
Let’s chat! What did you think of the poem? Are you a morning person, or do you struggle with waking up?