If you don’t know what you have until it’s gone
Or how much it means until there is a new dawn,
Or how full life is after it’s too late,
Or how lucky you are before a sudden fate,
Then you should live every day to the fullest.

If you don’t know what happened to all of the years
Or you can water a garden with all of your tears.
If you find yourself wondering what you missed in the past
And you think life may be disappearing too fast,
Then you should take a moment to be thankful.

If you see a new horizon emerging in the fold
And you’re sure there are boundaries to be crossed in the gold
And you dream of your wildest dreams to come true,
And you hope and you pray God is listening to you,
Then you should take a moment to say goodbye.

If you are scared of what the future may hold
Or have never taken a chance too bold.
If you wonder what might be out there but can’t go
And you are afraid to ask friend or foe,
Then you should try your hardest to make a difference.

If you always look past the positive things
And end up discouraged because of what negativity brings,
And you feel like a puppet on unbreakable strings
Then you should look at the glass half full.

If you can’t find the words at the right time or place
Or you leave too soon without leaving a trace
Or you never go to where you wish to be
Or you are too narrow-minded to see what others see,
Then you should accept the time of day and know that you will never have that
second again.

If you are a dreamer or wisher like me
And you can’t pull yourself down from the clouds enough to see
What truly matters in a time of such fog
When people are transparent and can’t get along,
Then you should step in between the fight and be the translator.

If someday I understand why all this is so
And I find out the true meaning of that friend or that foe,
And I learn not to say what I did, but what I didn’t,
Then maybe I will know more about how the way life is
But for now all I have is a brain full of ifs.

Katherine Zeller
Honorable Mention 5th & 6th Grade
LA Writes! 2012

Used with permission of LA Writes!

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