When I Rise

When I rise in the morning
the world is dark.
I fall, seeing the darkness,
thinking dark is the day.
When light edges in timid
in mist in the east
I fall timid to meet the day.
I fall timid, reaching for this to do
thinking, oh no, avoid, refrain--
do and refrain, gain this, lose that.
I fall into dark before the day rises
fall into the small confine of my body
and the day not begun.

When I rise in the morning
the floor cold on my feet
water cold in my mouth
and my mind still caught in the cool of dream
and the day glimmers through the blinds,
I turn from the room where I cannot see,
to the day that is turning to morning
to a junco on the wire of the feeder
to steam from the kettle under the stove lamp
and I do not say, this is what to do
this what I expect, what I expect of you.
Then the day rises with me and around me
and the sun appears over the hill.

—Sarah Webb

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