In our writing class, we students were asked to produce two small pieces under the subject “if.” Below are my contributions to that cause.

If You Knew What She Would Say

If you knew she would say yes, and yes meant a lifetime together, would you ask her?

If her yes would be uncertain, and yes meant a lifetime together, would you ask her?

If you knew she would say yes, and yes meant that you’d see a good movie together, but there were no certainties after that, would the lower stakes make the ask easier?

If you knew, even with the lower stakes, that the movie COULD lead to a lifetime together, or at minimum, a potentially awkward decision by one of you in the future that could lead to a decision of a lifetime, would that stop you from asking about that movie?  Even if the movie had great Rotten Tomato reviews with potential for stimulating after-movie conversation? Or sex? Or something in between?

If you knew that you can never know, whether risks be high or low, whether dreams will ever flow, whether hope and fear can share a home as powdered pure as a freshly fallen twelve-inch dump of wide-flaked, windswept snow, would you … would you… give it a go?


If I ran the zoo…

If you give a mouse a cookie…

If I was a rich man…

If I fell in love with you…

If I could turn back time…

If Rudyard Kipling hadn’t already stolen the word as a title and created a terrific poem…

Then I might have a better chance of doing something, anything, distinctive with the word “if.”

But if’s prevalence in poetry and song, reveals the two-letter word’s core nature.  

And that is this:

Whenever if is used as inquiry, it provides the asker an answer.

Wherever if is used as fantasy, it provides the wonderer a home.

3 thoughts on “If

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