"Hurry" by Marie Howe

"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 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.


Reprinted from "The Kingdom of Ordinary Time" by Marie Howe. Copyright © 2008 by Marie Howe. Used with the permission of the publisher, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.

Voices on the Radio

is the State Poet of New York and teaches writing at Sarah Lawrence College. She’s published three collections of poetry: What the Living Do, The Good Thief, and The Kingdom of Ordinary Time.