Megan Vanderhooft

If Only

The peace was disturbed
By a piercing scream.
Everything changed,
From good to bad,
Calm to chaos,
In seconds.

I heard cries, and
The thudding of feet,
my feet,
On the carpets of the spiraling stairs
Matching that of my heart,
As I ran.

What awaited? The ending
Of the stairs neared, as
Ominous thoughts took over
My hysterical mind, of a
Little girl bereft of life.

She had fallen,
fallen far.

These images penetrated
The walls of my mind,
my heart,
As my feet hit the cold,
Hard wood floors
Of the lower stories.

The stairs ended and
standing before me
Was my bawling sister,
Bruised and battered, but alive
With tears in her eyes.

“It’s only a dream, only
A dream” she cried,
To assure herself
but not me.
If only it were a dream.

If it were a dream
I could wake up.


Copyright © 2002-2011 Student Publishing Program (SPP). Poetry and prose © 2002-2011 by individual authors. Reprinted with permission.