“If I Could” by Tara Dasso

Tara Dasso is a poet and recent straw dog member who resides in Western Massachusetts. She is co-founder of Write-up Springfield!, a creative writing group that promotes and brings together Springfield area writers to write and share work. Her work has appeared in various journals including Trestle Ties, Dark Ink Magazine, and Silkworm.

“If I Could”


If I could,

I would have worried less about lesson plans, 

Instead found joy in unexpected laughter, 

detours to places unknown 


If I could,

 I would have said yes to lunches with eager 10-year-olds 

in place of last-minute trips to the copier 

It would have jammed anyway 


If I could,

I would not berate myself over useless data 

My focus could have been on things 

I did that were not easy to measure 


If I could, 

I would not waste my time complaining 

about the student who made me want to give up 

instead spoken with a grateful heart about the ones who made each day worthwhile 


If I could,

I would have gathered an extra hug,

taken another minute to linger, 

drunk it all in 


But I can’t so if I could 

I would tell you I miss you 

I’m sorry we never got to say goodbye