If I Only Had A…

May 5, 2015


Kelly Dalton is an enthusiastic librarian. She likes knitting socks, lifting weights, and bouncing around to live music. She has had short fiction and nonfiction published in The Readerville Journal, and poetry in Stickman Review. She‘s a North Carolinian born and bred, but currently lives in Virginia with her husband.

Everything we were looking for
Was right there with us all along,
In a tidy gingham package.
I’m the one who figured it out, of course.
Couldn’t stop laughing, for a long time, when it hit me.
My laughter always disturbs people—
Echoes oddly through my hollow metal chest.
She asked if I was okay.
She always had so much heart.

Plenty in the brains department too.
We had to get a bit more metaphorical with the courage.
Finally the lion was satisfied with her spine—
I doubt he’s really any more courageous,
But with a necklace of bones
Twined through his bloody mane,
Nobody’s going to challenge him and find out.

The mutt wouldn’t leave what was left of her.
He won’t be there long—
The woods are still full of tigers and bears.

We three link arms and skip down the sunny road,
Giddy with our newfound completion.
The lion roars threats at everyone we pass.
My flammable friend recites his geometry theorems,
And me?
I’m in the mood
For love.

© Kelly Dalton


  1. Jennifer Sanner

    Love this perspective of one of my favorite childhood stories! Thank you Kelly!

  2. Philip Williams

    This is unlike any poem that I have read before. ‘If Only I Had….” is very unique and I and very impressed Mrs.Dalton!

  3. David Wilcox

    So satisfying to puzzle out a dreadful truth after a few readings. Thank and well done!

Submit a Comment