What if

What If by Shel Silverstein

Last night as I lay thinking here,
Some Whatifs crawled inside my ear.
And pranced and partied all night long.
And sang their same old Whatif song:
Whatif I'm dumb in school?
Whatif they've closed the swimming pool?
Whatif I get beat up?
Whatif there's poison in my cup?
Whatif I start to cry?
Whatif I get sick and die?
Whatif I flunk that test?
Whatif green hair grows on my chest?
Whatif nobody likes me?
Whatif a bolt of lightning strikes me?
Whatif I don't grow tall?
Whatif my head starts getting smaller?
Whatif the fish won't bite?
Whatif the wind tears up my kite?
Whatif they start a war?
Whatif my parents get divorced?
Whatif the bus is late?
Whatif my teeth don't grow in straight?
Whatif I tear my pants?
Whatif I never learn to dance?
Everything seems swell, and then . . .
The nighttime Whatifs strike again!

Tonight, the whatifs are gnawing at my brain.

What if all the signs pointing towards fascism are right?
What if we don't get out of the country in time?
What if work won't let me transfer?
What if we don't have enough money saved?
What if once we leave, we can't come back?
What if we don't make friends?
What if we have to watch our loved ones suffer through the downfall of America?
What if global climate change causes us to revert to much more primitive means, and I can't hack it?

Basically, what if I am faced with the kind of suffering that so many people on this planet are already faced with? Intellectually and emotionally, I don't feel ready. I'm sure no one feels ready, you just do what you have to do each day to keep surviving. Just, some days, the not-knowing really gets to me...

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