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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.


Marie HoweAbout the Poet:

Marie Howe worked as a newspaper reporter and teacher before earning a master's degree in creative writing. The current Poet Laureate of New York, Howe is the author of three books of poetry, most recently The Kingdom of the Ordinary (2009), and is the recipient of numerous awards.

About this Poem:

Marie Howe's "Hurry" offers a snapshot of a mother-daughter relationship and captures the difficulty of trying to live in the moment.

"Hurry," from The Kingdom of Ordinary Time © 2008 by Marie Howe, used by permission of the author and W.W. Norton and Company, Inc.