“If” by Roz Levine


If Marsha hadn’t wanted to find a new love
If she hadn’t wanted to go it alone
To the Young Democratic Party meeting
If she hadn’t asked me to simmer down
With so many romances on high flame in my life
If you hadn’t been at the entryway
Sweet smiling at all the beautiful ladies
If I hadn’t been wearing the cranberry sweater set
Made of cashmere so soft to the fingers
If I hadn’t curled my black Veronica Lake locks
Brushed them a hundred times to high shine
If I hadn’t silly smiled at you when you called me Florence
And I said my name was Rosalind
If we hadn’t laughed at how funny that was
How you thought it was so cool
To watch me sign my name
And you read my chicken scrawl all wrong
And we roared ourselves into a bowl of howls
If you hadn’t looked so hot and handsome
In that beautiful fitting gray sharkskin suit
If your body hadn’t been so lean and mean
If you hadn’t found me at City College
Twenty-four hours after we’d met
If your kisses hadn’t been so delicious
If your tongue hadn’t brought me to hot, hot, hot
If you hadn’t smelled so damn good
Looked so mighty damn fine
Acted so utterly damn charming
If you hadn’t worn an ascot
On our first date together
If you hadn’t said you loved me
Ten days after we met in Manhattan
If you hadn’t asked me to marry you
If we hadn’t married eleven weeks later
If we hadn’t honey combed two terrific daughters
And two awesome grand daughters
If you hadn’t filled my life with adventure
Encouraging me to yes, yes, yes
When I wanted to nip and tuck
All our seams to no, no, no
If we hadn’t survived heart disease
Cancers, diabetes, chronic pains
Surgery after surgery after surgery
If you hadn’t said write, write, write
You’re a writer, by god, you are
If Marsha hadn’t sweet talked me
To attend that political soiree
How would I have savored so much joy
The forty-six years we’ve been together?

Roz Levine

L. K. Thayer’s Foto Fetish

© 2010


  1. lkthayer · December 14, 2010

    If you hadn’t written this, I wouldn’t have gotten goosebumps all over my body!!
    A treasure! Thanks 🙂

  2. Roz Levine · December 14, 2010

    Thank you, Lisa. I still get goosebumps when I think about if and if and if and if.
    Love you, Ms. Juice Bar par excellence!

  3. Vicki Batkin · December 14, 2010

    this needs to be published. Health Mag, New Yorker, Over 40, Oprah mag,….somewhere, anywhere. Start sending this out. It MUST be read by as many as possible. Fabulous work, Rozie. “If you hadn’t”. “If we hadn’t”. Fucky Fuck – it doesn’t get better than this!

  4. jacquelyn · December 14, 2010

    If he hadn’t told you to write, and if you hadn’t written; how much joy would we have missed out on.

  5. Roz Levine · December 15, 2010

    Thank you so much, friends. If I hadn’t had a thrid grade teacher who said I had a fantastic imagination and taught me not to be embarrased or ashamed of my fertile dreams and bizarre creative thoughts and if she hadn’t encouraged me to write, write, write, I’d probably be dead meat by now.
    How I love the land of words!!!!

  6. Alexis Rhone Fancher · December 15, 2010

    Another terrific poem from a truly great poet! So many great poems, Roz! Looking forward to the book.

  7. Angela · December 15, 2010

    Roz, you are an extraordinary person and a gifted poet–what a great piece.

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