What If

Joelle Ibrahim

“What” and “If” are two words as non-threatening as words can be, but put them together, side by side, and they have the power to haunt you for the rest of your life.
What if?

What if I could’ve changed something?
What if I could’ve made you wait before you left for work?
What if instead of lying on my couch, I had stood up and given you a hug before your night shift? And by doing so, I would’ve made you stay 2 more minutes, and maybe saved you from what was about to happen…
What if I could’ve held you back from leaving?

What if I could’ve saved you?

I drown myself in blame, for something I didn’t do.
My government did this,
And yet, I can’t look at myself in the mirror.
I can’t accept the fact that I get to stay and you don’t.
I get to breathe, but you don’t.
I get to live, but you won’t.

How can I rise from the floor when it’s not you I’m rising for?
How will a day rise again when hundreds of families lay in darkness?
The life we knew is over, the lights are out,
And to this cold darkness, we succumb.

Now that it’s clear that everything will never be the same again,
I’ll make the choice to gather my strength, piece by piece,
And do the next right thing.