Voices From These Times: ‘When I Wake Up in the Morning’

Ronald Yokley

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In These Times has partnered with the Neighborhood Writing Alliance (NWA) to amplify the stories and struggles of ordinary people, including workers in the United States. This piece, part of an ongoing biweekly series, originally appeared in the Journal of Ordinary Thought , published by NWA. Find more stories and voices at the NWA’s blog.

These days, when I wake up in the morning, it’s dark. It’s moving into the fall and it’s getting colder. Since I’m not working at the Park District, I get up at 6 a.m. and pick up cans. Since my father has died, I have to get up in the morning. My mother makes my breakfast. She’s always fussing about different things. But since I’m not working at the park, and the summer is over, I’m trying to get back into writing and music. When I see the morning, I want to do more than just lie in the bed. But it is so hard. In the morning, I feel life is just passing me by.

And sometimes I don’t want to get up, because I don’t have a job. So when I do get up I have to try and stay busy. That’s the hard part.

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Ronald Yokley is a freelance musician and poet.
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