If I Had It to Do Over Mick Ó Seasnáin Poetry

local_library If I Had It to Do Over

by Mick Ó Seasnáin

Published in Issue No. 260 ~ January, 2019

After descending

seventeen stories

into the Niagara Gorge,

the Cave of the Winds

opened before our eyes,

a subterranean tunnel

stretched for hundreds of feet…

then, countless red steps

and miles of wooden decking

reached up into the roaring

water, falling thousands of feet.



the doctor called it,

just weeks before the trip;

the diagnosis washed us with relief,

a Gordian knot

unraveled inside.

The boundless energy,

his joy in lifting

dangerously heavy objects,

the compulsion to touch


from doormats

to wall coverings,

and the bumping

and tripping

over his own feet –

stealing my breath

when he ran up

and down

the basement steps –

it all fit.


Now, as I dressed him

in a sunshiny poncho

and oversized sandals,

I repeated the chorus,

“You will hold my hand –

you can’t let go at all.”

And the boy squealed

whether in delight or horror was uncertain.


Up and up –

How many times

did I catch him

from falling?

“You can’t let go at all.”


Up and up –

How many steps

did he shakily take?

“Hold my hand.”


Up and up –

Why the hell

would they call it Hurricane Deck?

“You can’t let go at all.”


Up and up –

How many blasts of wind

shook us,

pelting us while we climbed.

“You must hold my hand.”


Up and up –

The thin, plastic poncho

was a sieve.

“Hold on!

Don’t let go!”

I shouted over the roar

of the water,

and he laughed

and jumped

and writhed with exhilaration and life,

my hand

his only lifeline

when the force of the mist nearly tossed him

off the deck.


If I had it to do over again,

I wouldn’t change a thing.

account_box More About

Mick Ó Seasnáin is a Teaching Consultant for The National Writing Project at Kent State University and an English Language Arts Teacher for Edgewood Middle School. His poem "What Only Parents Say" received honorable mention as a finalist in the 2019 Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest, and his writing has been featured in the Ohio Journal of English Language Arts (OJELA), Literary Orphans, Crack the Spine, Up the River, The Wayne Literary Review, Teachers of Vision, and Brushfire Literary Magazine. Additionally, his artwork has been featured in Abstract Magazine, The Healing Muse, and The Raw Art Review amongst other publications and gallery showings. See more of his work at https://tinyurl.com/MickOSeasnain.