What If?

Oftentimes we let our fear of a possible outcomes hinder us from attempting anything at all. My poem is about a student’s fear of participation, stemming from self-doubt and a paralyzing fixation on the worst case scenario. As a fellow introvert, this poem represents some of my fears about speaking in front of others, irrational as they may seem.


My hand peeks tentatively past rows of heads. Students turn and stare; anticipation (or boredom, I can’t tell) emanates from their eyes.

I’m sure I know. The silence grows, the students wait. My hand sinks. I might know.

I don’t know.

Because what if

I’m wrong,

What if they laugh

Or judge

What if it’s another mistake

Among my infinite blunders

What if the sky falls

Pulled down by broken expectations

What if the world shines her unforgiving light

On my failure

To answer a simple question




I’m wrong.

“You have an answer?”

“I was just stretching.”

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