Old People Waking
          “When I wake up, everything hurts. That’s good. I know I’m alive.”
              – octogenarian interviewed in Number Our Days, Barbara Myerhoff

The awakening–eager, brute, or mechanical,
swinging legs and arms to splint the body up
from bed, sofa, woven mat, or
of hips, stubs, if the lower limbs are missing
or gone into numbness. Nevertheless,
day breaks–up, up!

The awakening—kneading of fingers
on neck, flexing the stiff upper
frame, shaking the head, opening
eyes still dreaming of dragon wings.
Reach for the waiting teeth; we will bite
some pleasure into this day.

It’s a smaller room, a smaller life—still,
we seek the sun, we stumble to windows,
to warmth. In these naked hours, instinct
twists us toward the solar chariot,
we spent years hiding from
in metal towers.

And if everything hurts, it means
the current’s flowing. We hiss inside:
Live, live!


Naomi Thiers grew up in California and Pittsburgh, but her home is Washington-DC/Northern Virginia. She is the author of three poetry collections: Only The Raw Hands Are Heaven (WWPH), In Yolo County, and She Was a Cathedral (both Finishing Line Press.) Her poems, fiction, and essays have been published in Virginia Quarterly Review, Poet Lore, Colorado Review, Sojourners, and other magazines. Former editor of the journal Phoebe, she works as an editor and lives in a condo on the banks of Four Mile Run in Arlington, Virginia.

Luis Lázaro Tijerina was born in Salina, Kansas. Mr. Tijerina has a Master of Art degree in history, concentration being military history and diplomacy. He is a published author of military theory, short stories, essays and poetry. Mr. Tijerina resides in Vermont.