Poetry & Art

The Conditional


The anxiety behind such a simple word is exhausting. 

Everything up in the air, 

I have nowhere to put my feet. 

Floating stepping stones, 

I jump from one to the next, 

terrified of missing one, 

the landing has to be perfect. 

I catch myself saying “when,”

because that other two letter word is so unsettling. 

So much of us stands on the “if,”

and I think it always has.

The “when” is just a little out of reach, 

even standing on my tip toes I can’t quite grasp it without losing my balance, 

I just can’t risk falling down.

Maybe one day those stepping stones will finally be on the ground, 

we can walk them together without stumbling, 

and the word “when” will be held securely between our interlocked fingers.

“If” will be long forgotten. 


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