Wake Up Routines: 2010 - 2020
in no particular order

Stephanie Powell

And somedays, I’d wake up at five am, before the rest of the low, sleep-sewn bungalow. Sky hue of navy – right at cusp edge of dawn. The sound of grazing in the backyard, grass being ripped from the soil. I’d make tea, sit down at my desk and listen-out for footsteps on the landing. The pipes warming up in-between the walls.


And somedays, deep mid-winter, I’d wake up in darkness. The day already seen through. Tongue a slope of ash and vinegar. Mouth tasting like a split open tea-bag. I’d turn on the kettle, count my bruises and tidy things away.


And somedays, I’d wake up our legs and arms in a pile. My face touching your right shoulder. The duvet falling off the bed. Maybe rain coming down outside – I’d open the window to hear it better – the room half-dark, prayer-like.


And somedays, I’d wake up at seven-thirty, the first planes flying close, near to touching the roof of the inner-city flat. Bright light behind tissue-thin curtains, smell of cigarettes coming through the wall. Hot oil being worked into a frying pan in the kitchen – the lorikeets scratching and chirping at the windows.


And somedays, I’d wake up – the cold dug too far into my bones, and not get up at all.


And somedays, I’d wake up to heavy flip-flop steps like machine-gun fire in the kitchen. The crash of cutlery ripped from the draw and cereal bowl set-down down on the table. The wind-up croak of the toaster, dad scraping butter out to the edges of the bread- asking if I was awake yet.

Stephanie Powell has been published previously in anthologies by Enthusiastic Press, The Bacopa Literary Review, Black Mountain Press, New World Writing and Not Very Quiet. Her Instagram handle is @theatticpoetiting