If I Just
by Esther Rohm


If I just keep quiet when you step on my cracks
and don’t walk under your laddering displeasure
if my face doesn’t shatter your reflection

if my fears stay on the short side
of the wishbone
and I cross my fingers
every time you spit my name

I can find where I dropped your love
and I’ll be more careful with it


If I cross paths with the sides of me you hated
burn the rabbit’s foot of my devotion
and break the mirrors of you in my head

if I can say I make my own luck
without knocking on your table
if I just don’t hold my breath this time
when I visit your grave

I can pull the last of your weeds
still strangling my thoughts

IMAGE: The author at four years old, somewhere in Washington State.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem is offered as a eulogy to the countless childhoods spent avoiding minefields instead of learning life skills.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Esther Rohm is fascinated by human beings. She writes poetry, fiction, and fantasy while undercover as an office worker. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she was kidnaped by mischievous sprites and deposited in Ohio, where she continues to live. Her writing has appeared in Dime Show Review, and she is one of 35 authors featured in A Journey of Words (Scout Media, 2016). Follow her at or read her and her husband’s joint blog at