Curtisj Johnson

Get On With It, A Letter To My Brother - Poem by Curtisj Johnson


By Curtis Johnson

Hi Michael:

You might have been too young to remember, but there is a certain line that Grandma use to say to any of us who was sent to the store to purchase something. At the time, I never bothered to determine the complete meaning of what she said.

I just assumed and felt that I knew enough about what she meant, and went about completing the mission given to me. As I thought about it more recently, I tried to explore the depth of what she was saying. Perhaps I did ask her as a child and simply forgot her reply. Anyway, I have wondered if she was being half poetic and half realistic. Poetic because of the rhythm of her words, and realistic because of the true meaning of her words.

Grandma would often say, “Go in a haste and come in a pace.” I readily understood the ‘haste’ part, but I never quite understood the ‘pace’ part. It seems a bit contradictory that one would hurry to fetch a purchase, but return at a pace with the item. I’m sure that Grandma knew very well what she was saying, and she must have been rather confident that we also understood her. We assumed that she meant for us to complete the assignment as quickly as possible, and we always did our best to follow her every command. I’m also sure that Grandma was not asking us to hurry without thought, or to the point where ‘haste’ makes ‘waste’. She was simply saying for us to get on with it and stay focused until we finish.

As I recall, Grandma could not read or write, but the lessons she taught have lasted for a lifetime. Michael, I have tried to get on with it, to Pursue the Course that God laid out for me, and to Stay Focused to the end. Like everyone else, I have had set backs and ‘knock me down blows’, but by the grace God I kept getting up. Without even realizing it, Grandma was teaching us a very vital lesson of life.

So Michael, whatever mission that God has assigned to us, may we ‘get on with it’.
From time to time as we endeavor to get on with it, it will be necessary to set a certain pace, realizing that the finish lines are often far away. Learning to listen to God and his wisdom will greatly assist us at certain junctures. How wise of grandma, who taught us at a very young age the need for such understanding.

Though we did not realize it at the time, the words of our dear grand mother were very strong and powerful. Those nine little words from grand ma, uttered from the lips of one who could not read or write, speak volumes to me now.

No, it doesn’t matter so much that we fall down or get knocked down sometimes; but it does matter that we ‘get up and get on with it’ to fight another round, and another and another, until the fight is over. I once heard over the radio that there was a heavy weight fighting champion who was knocked down more than any other boxer. If he got knocked down so many times, how on earth did he become a Champion? He did it one way: He kept ‘getting up’.


Topic(s) of this poem: advice, courage, family, grandmother

Form: Narrative

Poet's Notes about The Poem

I wrote several letters to encourage my baby brother.

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, December 3, 2015

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