Jan/Feb 2022  •   Poetry  •   Special Feature

If You Hadn't

by Kimm Brockett Stammen

If You Hadn't

If you hadn't reached for that backhand, you might not have fallen.

If you hadn't fallen—the world reduced to a half-inch of tennis shoe miscalculation, to a fierce whoosh through your so thin gray hair—your skull might not have smashed on the tennis court's crumbling concrete.

If your skull hadn't smashed, spilling like a soup bowl, we might know now what was in your mind when you lay there, looking at the world suddenly from a mouse's perspective.

If we knew what was in your mind then, whether more regrets, joys, or worries scurried after the encroaching shadows, we might possibly, someday—when the sight of your body keeling back, back, back, stops replaying in our head—forgive ourselves for having suggested the game.