“If I” is a Palindrome
by Scott Redmond

If I fell down, I might get back up, consider it anyway
You know, so long as I wasn’t falling into bed or into love or into lava,
If you fell down, I might help you back up, try to anyway
You know, so long as you didn’t fall into a really deep hole, or anything else dangerous
Like a burning ring of fire
(On the off chance that the ghost of Johnny Cash is reading this).

If I fell down, would you help me back up, would you try to at least?
Would you extend a hand, throw some rope or try to grab me with one of those dinosaur grabby stick things?
What if I was really stuck in deep quicksand that started around my ankles that’s reached my neck
And every time I struggle to get out I fall farther, would you help me then
Even when I could not help myself?

I have fallen more times than I have gotten up.
One more time to be exact.

IMAGE: “Cherry Fall” by Joan Snyder (1995).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This short piece takes it’s inspiration from two main sources — the stand-up comedy show “If I” by Demetri Martin, which is the origin of the poem’s title,  and secondly a short battle with depression. During this, I saw the fight-or-flight responses of both myself and those around me, and in the piece I’m questioning both myself and those around me on how they would react if it happened again. I realize how wanky that sounds.


At 19, Scott Redmond is one of the younger writers and performers on the Scottish poetry scene. In his first year, his work appeared in a number of publications, including High Flight and I am not a Silent Poet. He is also an acclaimed stand-up comedian and award-winning playwright and director. He does not understand why it is not spelt “playwrite.”

PHOTO: The author during a stand-up comedy show in mid-2016.