You want to sleep, but your mind is racing. A million different scenarios scroll across the movie screen in your head, and none of them are pleasant. What if . . . ? What if . . . ? What if . . . ? Each answer to this question comes up odd, frightening, or downright absurd, and yet the questions race. Until, finally, they relent and let us rest. We’ve all had a case of the What-Ifs. This week, those annoying questions have taken over as we welcome the fourth-grade writers from Bluebonnet Trail Elementary School in Manor ISD. Here, they share with us their fears—both silly, strange, and stifling.
Last night, while I lay here, some
what-ifs crawled inside my ear.
What if the teacher’s really mean?
What if my hair’s not clean?
What if I make no friends?
What if I turn into a hen?
What if my desk is old?
What if my desk has mold?
What if my teeth are smelly?
What if they look like jelly?
What do I do, I do when
there’s what-ifs in my head? Do I
just lay there like I’m dead?
Last night while I lay here, some what-ifs crawled in my ear. What if a big bug jumped on me and tried to crawl in my mouth, but I hit it off me? What if a lot of hair were growing on my body, like I was turning into a werewolf, and I tried to shave it off, but it just kept growing and growing? Then sharp teeth appeared in my mouth, and I got blue eyes, and I jumped up and yelled, “Mom and Dad!” a lot, and I ran in their room, and they were screaming, Ahh! Ahh! because I was a full werewolf, and I jumped out of the house and went on with my other friends.
It was dark, and I almost barked.
What if I fell off the wall?
What if I got really small?
What if my hair got glued to a ball?
What if I got ten feet tall?
What if my face got stuck to a sticky book?
What if I fell off a building?
What if I got hit in the face?
What if I looked like a booger?
Last night, while I lay here,
some what-ifs crawled inside my ear.
What if they mess up my room and
I have to clean it up?
What if they go to the kitchen
and snatch my fruit snacks?
What if they take my favorite toy
and I call my mom and she gets mad?
What if they make me into a monkey
and I can’t go to school?
What if they give me a vision
(and if I want to know if they’re lying I can)?
What if I can’t control myself
and I yell, “Hey! Stop being rude!”
What if they make me and my family separate?
That would not be good at all!
while I lay here, some what-ifs crawled inside
What if I don’t make friends?
What if I make no amends?
What if I’m all alone?
What if I’m chilled to the bone?
What if my parents disappear?
What if a rat gets inside my ear?
What if I don’t get bigger?
What if my goals seem farther?
What if I don’t grow tall?
What if I lose my ball?
What if I start to cry?
What if my mother starts to fry?
I doubt anyone, big or small, likes the what-ifs.
_____________Not one bit at all.
What If My Hair’s Too Green?
What if my breath stinks?
What if my feet stink?
What if my hair’s too green?
What if my face is too wide?
What if I get scared and scream like a girl?
What if I get married?
What if I don’t pass my test?
What if I sag and someone pantses me?
What if I my body turns inside-out?
What if I lend a hand?
What if I kick a ball and my foot comes off?
What if I eat Sour Heads and my head blows up?
What if I’m feared, and I grow a beard?
What if my epidermis comes off?
What if it’s born again?
What If-ing in the Night
Last night, while I lay there,
some what-ifs crawled inside my ear:
What if I wake up and nobody’s there?
What if I disappear into the air?
What if I pee in my pants?
What if I stand in the ants?
What if my plane crashes and I die?
What if I get in trouble and cry?
What if I’m in a shower and my house is on fire?
What if I never get hired?
What if I get slashed by a bear?
What if I fail a dare?
What if I have a heart attack?
What if I’m chosen as a snack?
What if I get killed in my dreams?
What if it’s the end of the world as it seems?
The Way I Frighten Myself
What if I kept on hitting myself,
and saying that I was
the biggest, baddest girl in school—
even in the whole world?
What if I was a bully and
hated or humiliated everyone?
What if I was pretending
to be people’s friend?
What if I killed or hurt someone in a bad way?
Life doesn’t frighten me at all,
and I don’t frighten anyone,
but I do frighten myself.
My what-ifs hurt people,
but I would never do such a thing.
Help, listen, be happy.
good ones, great ones.
Be smart, bright, big,
and most importantly:
Never hurt anyone.
Last night, while I lay here,
some what-ifs crawled in my ear.
What if I don’t have food or water to eat or drink?
What if a scary monster comes to my room?
What if I die?
What if my dad spanks me?
What if I have no family members?
What if I get a wedgy?
What if I never die?
What if I never lie?
What if I am the only living thing on earth?
What if I’m ugly?
What if I get dirty?
Last night while I lay here, some what-ifs
crawled inside my ear.
What if I can’t hear?
What if I show my fear?
What if I shrink to four inches tall?
What if I can’t work at all?
What if I freeze?
What if I scream?
What if I can’t run a block?
What if I can’t stop?
What if I fall inside a ditch?
What if my heart goes tick-tick?
What if yerks fall in my ear?
What if people yell and sneer?
What if I drown?
What if I’m bound?
What if I’m kicked?
What if I get licked?
What if someone lacks the air?
What if someone pulls my hair?
What if I’m caught?
What if I’m shot?
What if I bleed?
What if I leave?
What if I’m scum?
What if I’m numb?
I so wish the what-ifs were tied and bound.
I just don’t like the what-if sound.