Glenn Erick Miller

Link to home pageLink to current issueLink to back issuesLink to information about the magazineLink to submission guidelinesSend email to

Waking Up

I wake up a few times every morning,Artwork by Gene McCormick
one foot in a dream where my brother returns
to our parents’ house.

He is clean, his hair cut short.
He wears a new sweater
and holds hands with a short, doughy Latin man.

He says his name.
He nods at him.
“This is why I’ve been away so long,” he tells us.
And with one foot dug into the orange carpet,
I hug him.

The other foot is pushed into the crease at the bottom of the bed
where the sheets are scratchy and tight.
It’s a holiday, my mouth is dry.

I remember the last time I woke up, a few hours ago,
to rub your back and your bare hip. 
You were lost on the expanse of bed, a dark speck in an ocean of ice. 

Now you are closer, and everything
is immediate -- breakfast, my brother’s last phone number, the frost on the windows. 
I consider the promise of plunging temperatures and
bloated clouds.  Heavy snow begins to compress on the power lines.

I never tumble out of my dreams completely, and the day is marked
with half-steps and freeze frames.  They rise and fall, stitching
day over night, night over day. 



Glenn Erick Miller lives in northern New York with his wife and two children.  His writing has recently appeared in The Citron Review, Literary Juice, Burrow Press Review, and The Glass Coin.  He is a past winner in the Adirondack Writing Center’s annual awards, and has worked as a youth counselor, a college professor, and a photographer.