What We Don't Have Time For

Snubbing a poet and beautiful verse is one thing. Snubbing leadership, history, and the way forward is another.


So today is the day, the swearing in. To swear: to vow, pledge, promise, affirm, to insist, to undertake. Or, of course, to curse, blaspheme, cuss, make profane. Sadly, as Governor Nikki Haley takes her oath of office by the State House’s cold gray steps, in cold gray weather, where the neaby Confederate flag barely flutters in the one-mile-per-hour wind, the swearing feels more like the latter, the blaspheme, than the affirmation.


“We don’t have time” to mark the occasion with poetry, as governors and presidents and prime ministers and popes have made time for through the ages. “The schedule is too tight” to read the stirring verses scribed by our scribe in chief, poet laureatess Marjory Wentworth, says Haley’s team.


My friends and fellow citizens, here is what we don’t have time for under this 96th gubernatorial reign:

  • Continuing to ignore our history’s deep and shameful wounds, some still raw, some even still weeping, but mostly just scarred over the way our landscape gets scarred over with new highway lanes over wetlands, through farmland, until we no longer see that they are scars.
  • Continuing to value power over humility, profit over beauty, efficiency over effectiveness, price over payoff, business over humanity.
  • The continuing ethics bullshit.
  • The continual and perpetual underfunding of art, education, and healthcare.


That’s a start, at least. But hey, since I’ve got time in this here blog, let me leave you with this last suggestion. In the words of my friend and teacher Marjory Wentworth, let’s make time to come:


"from the edge of the wilderness to name
the harm that has been done, to make it
plain, and enter the river and rise."