Poetry Friday: I Sign Off on Entirely Too Many
of My Emails with “In Haste,” Too

h1 March 11th, 2010 by jules

My Poetry Friday post this week is—straight up, y’all—stolen from the honorable Liz Garton Scanlon. Always steal from the best, right? She posted this poem by Marie Howe back in September of last year, and I swear I’ve thought of it every day since then. Cross my heart.

And that would be because I’m a hurrier myself. And I would like to be less of one. And my oldest daughter moves slowly and takes in the world well, which she got from my husband. Evidently, a grown-up neighbor once told him when he was a boy—and I paraphrase—“you will never get an ulcer, my child, but you’ll give one to those who are waiting on you.” I drop my daughter off at school, and—no matter if she’s about to be late—she downright ambles into the building, all these kids rushing past her. Wait: It’s most definitely a mosey that she executes. But I think she probably sees way more than I do in this weird, bizarro world we live in. And this is good.

So, here’s the poem that Liz posted that kept me from getting up from my computer for about twenty minutes after I first read it. It had this power over me, started a conversation with me about why exactly it is that I do hurry. Yes, I talk to myself. What? Seriously? Don’t you all? For real?

Today also happens to be the birthday of the Daughter Who Moves So Easy, but I didn’t even mean to time this poem in such a manner. But it’s fitting, yes?

I take my chances and post the poem in its entirety:

“Hurry” by Marie Howe

We stop at the dry cleaners and the grocery store
and the gas station and the green market and
Hurry up honey, I say, hurry,
as she runs along two or three steps behind me
her blue jacket unzipped and her socks rolled down.

Where do I want her to hurry to? To her grave?
To mine? Where one day she might stand all grown?
Today, when all the errands are finally done, I say to her,
Honey I’m sorry I keep saying Hurry—
you walk ahead of me. You be the mother.

And, Hurry up, she says, over her shoulder, looking
back at me, laughing. Hurry up now darling, she says,
hurry, hurry, taking the house keys from my hands.

* * * * * * *

{The image opening this post comes from WK12 and is linked to the place in the big, wide open cyberspace ‘verse* where I found it. I love how your response to this image will tell you if you’re fundamentally Half-Glass-Empty or Half-Glass-Full. Is it saying “we’re all going to die one day anyway, so why hurry?” or “you’re going to die one day and heaven only knows when, so do what you’re wanting to do already, you dolt.” Yes, I think it would add “you dolt” if it could talk to us, as it seems rather in-your-face’y to me, don’t you think?}

* Did you see how I wrote ‘verse? Yup, Adrienne and Farida will be proud: I’m finally watching Firefly on DVD. More like rapidly consuming, seeing as how it is SO GOOD.

The Poetry Friday round-up is being hosted tomorrow (I’m early again) by Becky at none other than Becky’s Book Reviews.

9 comments to “Poetry Friday: I Sign Off on Entirely Too Many
of My Emails with “In Haste,” Too”

  1. I was lucky to have a mother like your husband; she tends to start off an hour before something happens so that she’s on time, but never has to rush. I prefer to live that way — I cannot stand to hurry, it just makes me anxious, and once I’m wound up, it’s just too hard to unwind and be normal again. So, I prefer a good mosey, followed by a ramble, a meander, and rounded up with a sidle and a sashay.

    The only time my mother said “hurry” was when it was too hot in the car in the summer. And then it was, “Well, let’s hurry up and go so we can get back.” Which suited us just fine.

    Perhaps a springtime/summer time goal — to do less on a schedule, and do more stuff as it happens?

  2. I loved this poem at Liz’s, and I love it here. I want to mosey, but still be full of energy, ya know? To move fast for the joy of it, not cause I have to.

  3. That’s really beautiful! Thank you for sharing.

  4. Well, don’t worry so. When you get to be my age, you won’t be able to hurry, even if you want to :).

    I always thought it ironic that young people (who have years to go) are always in a hurry, whereas old people (not much time left), move slow. Cruel trick of nature, that.

    Happy Birthday to your ambling, sashaying girl!

  5. Loved that poem, too, even though I hadn’t thought about it again until today!

  6. Love this. With work I am so very often in “hurry” mode, but it tends to turn into “hurry up and then wait”due to the many variables involved with court. Such a good reminder to slow down.

    Happy Birthday to your wise and easy-paced oldest!

    Also, so happy to hear you’re in the Firefly club! “And Kaylee, what the hell’s goin’ on in the engine room? Were there monkeys? Some terrifying space monkeys maybe got loose?”

  7. Thanks, you all. Sara, I get that. I do that, too, but sometimes I also hurry for stupid reasons.

    RM, the episode we just finished was the one where the doc gave Jayne a talking-to, while he was all laid out on the operating thingy, and then the doc’s sister sticks her head around the corner and says, “and I can kill you with my brain.” That made me hoot and is probably my favorite thus far. Although it was also pretty dang funny when the companion had that lady visit and Jayne kept saying, “I’ll be in my bunk” every time he saw them together.

  8. That’s a great line. And there are plenty more of them to come. Jayne supplies much humor….
    Glad you are enjoying it – I got hooked in January – its just so fun!

  9. This poem resonated with me a lot, too, when I first saw it at Liz’s. I think some things are worth hurrying for, certainly, but not all of them. Not the groceries. And not when hurrying makes me miss the real joy of something.

    FIREFLY! I am forever telling people that I can kill them with my brain thanks to that show. My favorite ep (and I can’t remember where it is in the season) is Jaynestown.

    Now I feel like I have to go watch it again.

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