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The On Being Project

Beating the Monday Rush with a Poem, Hurry

Beating the Monday Rush with a Poem, Hurry

Mondays are the days when we feel the stress of the week start to mount. We rush as we wake up and hurry as we leave work or school. Time seems less plentiful. The kids wake up five minutes later than usual. The car is lower on gas. More commuters than normal crowd the platform, waiting to take the train into the city. The start of a new work week has begun. The day starts and stops in a frenzy.

And so we push, rushing forward, sometimes gently urging or, at others, with a biting tone. Poet Marie Howe turns us about, forces us to look into the mirror, and maybe just maybe, laugh at ourselves as we slow down with her poem “Hurry”:

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.

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