Hurry up now darling

“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,
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.

by Marie Howe (1950-)

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One thought on “Hurry up now darling

  1. A GAME OF CHESS, from THE WASTE LAND


    When Lil’s husband got demobbed, I said—
    I didn’t mince my words, I said to her myself, 140
    HURRY UP PLEASE IT’S TIME
    Now Albert’s coming back, make yourself a bit smart.
    He’ll want to know what you done with that money he gave you
    To get yourself some teeth. He did, I was there.
    You have them all out, Lil, and get a nice set, 145
    He said, I swear, I can’t bear to look at you.
    And no more can’t I, I said, and think of poor Albert,
    He’s been in the army four years, he wants a good time,
    And if you don’t give it him, there’s others will, I said.
    Oh is there, she said. Something o’ that, I said. 150
    Then I’ll know who to thank, she said, and give me a straight look.
    HURRY UP PLEASE IT’S TIME
    If you don’t like it you can get on with it, I said.
    Others can pick and choose if you can’t.
    But if Albert makes off, it won’t be for lack of telling. 155
    You ought to be ashamed, I said, to look so antique.
    (And her only thirty-one.)
    I can’t help it, she said, pulling a long face,
    It’s them pills I took, to bring it off, she said.
    (She’s had five already, and nearly died of young George.) 160
    The chemist said it would be alright, but I’ve never been the same.
    You are a proper fool, I said.
    Well, if Albert won’t leave you alone, there it is, I said,
    What you get married for if you don’t want children?
    HURRY UP PLEASE IT’S TIME 165
    Well, that Sunday Albert was home, they had a hot gammon,
    And they asked me in to dinner, to get the beauty of it hot—
    HURRY UP PLEASE IT’S TIME
    HURRY UP PLEASE IT’S TIME
    Goonight Bill. Goonight Lou. Goonight May. Goonight. 170
    Ta ta. Goonight. Goonight.
    Good night, ladies, good night, sweet ladies, good night, good night.

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