It’s a Condition

Last week, we read Langston Hughes‘ “If-ing.” The speaker in the poem uses the conditional to talk about what might happen; in each instance, their ifs involve money—small change, greenbacks, a million—in order to obtain a mule, a Packard, and a plane. Students noticed that as the amounts go up in worth, so do the speaker’s desired items in size—that is, until the last stanza, when they admit, “But I ain’t got a million, / Fact is, ain’t got a dime”; yet “just by if-ing / I have a good time!” This suggests that the speaker’s power of imagination is greater than gaining material goods. Students enjoyed the poem’s rhymes, and while they thought it was funny, they also agreed there was an undercurrent of seriousness to the narrative. We talked about the effects of mixing humor and pathos in poetry, with Hughes’ effort demonstrating how well it can be accomplished.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, they were tasked with writing their own “if” poems. Check ’em out!

Mrs. Rupp, 4th Grade

Joshua M.

If I had a jetpack
I’d fly around the world
and fly across the oceans.

If I had invincibility,
I’d travel to the core
of the Earth.

If I could fly and had
unlimited breath
I’d fly to space
and go to other

If I had a billions dollars,
I’d buy a mansion and a
Bugatti or a Lambo.

The fact is I
don’t have any
of these things
and probably won’t.

I Wish I Had A?
Zander R.

If I had a cat
I would scratch its back
I would spend a dollar and 50¢ too!

If I had a pool
I would swim in it too!

If I had a fish
I would let it fish

Aiden R.

If I had a jetpack then I would
go fly. If I could do it then I would fly

If money like lots and lots of galleries
then I’d go downtown and purchase every store.

If I could drive
I would go fast.
I’d go so fast
I’d fall in the past.

If I could mind read it would be cool
I would only use it while I’m in school.

But since I want to be the one that can.

David V.

If I had a lot of money
I would give some
to the poor they look like
they need the money.

If I went through this
tough time I
would not know what to do
probably do the same things they do.

If they were not poor everyone will
have to leave to another
city because the city
will be full.

Cooper W.

If I could fly
I would say bye
and go to the unknown
with my friend Kay

If I could go back in time
I’d go and see an ancient lime
and see Albert Einstein

If I was a superhero
I would make the crime level zero
and eat a lot of gyros

Dimitri Z.

If I had a dime
I would cry
The after I’m done I would dry
After I dry I will fly
If someone stole a plane it’ll be a crime
That crime will cost a dime and some time
If that happened I probably would get fried
If “my” phone was still there I would try and fly
If I got there I would trade it out for an airplane
Then I would cry
And then goodbye

Mrs. Carlson, 4th Grade

Hersea B.

If I had some
small change I
would buy my
self a Lamborghini

If I Could…..
Gabrielle B.

If I could
I should go
home for
the wood

If I could winner
which I think
we should go
get a dime
but hey I
don’t know
how to

If I could
which I should
go home
and sleep
and think
of a Jeep!

If I could winner
which I should
go visit my
old friends
and make

Dillon D.

If I were 17 I’d
get myself a G-Wagon,
I’ll hop in and drive.

If I had money,
I will buy a cruise ship.

If I owned a store
I’d steal everything in it.

If I had a garden I’ll
only plant corn.

Remy F.

a kid
would pray
and Me

Amber H.

If I have a piano I will play it.

If I have a cute cat I will play with it.

If I have a cute owl I will fly with it.

If I Did
Sophia H.

If I had
a puppy I
would be happy.

If I had a million
I would win a
big one.

If I had
a place I would

If I had love
I would be bugged.

If I had all
it would be cool
but I don’t have
that dime.

If I…Had Money
Shakae W.

If I had money I would
put it in my bank account
and I don’t need money to
fly I just need it to live
plus money is not worth my
time. But if I had money
I will buy Gucci blueberry
pie milk and cookies
what would you buy I will
also buy AirPods thank
you bye bye.

Mrs. Johnson, 4th Grade

Jack C.

I wish
I had a
and a hamburger
and a

If It Were
Deven G.

If it were dawn
I would lose my head

If it were day
I would be dead

If it were night
I would’ve died in a fight.

Jayla L.

If I had a lot of money
I will do is I will spend
it on a lot of Jordan and
I will get it for my
family for we can pay some
of the rent and I want my
family to have lots of fun and
I want is to see friends and
family and always be loved.
Love your family.

Milan M.

If I was a millionaire I would buy a private jet
I will float in the sky like clouds floating in the
sky. If I fall asleep I would miss exciting things
around me. If I fly high will I touch the sky?
Look out the window.

James O.

If I have a zillion dollars
we are buying more stuff
let’s play baby!

If I have a job
let’s work and play baby!

Jordan R.

If I go to the
dentist I will go
home or I will run
my mom is
going to tell
me to get
back in the
chair. I don’t
like going
to the
but I have
to get my
teeth checked
out. My
dentist is a good
I should not
always go
to the dentist.

If I…
Tristan V.

If I had a million
I would buy a house
it shouldn’t take long at all.

If I lived a hundred years
I would want to see the
way things work.

If I died
I wouldn’t actually
die I would survive.

If I would survive
I would try to live for
a million years.

Mr. O’Brien, 4th Grade

If Money Bubbles
Ben L.

Money is a thing that can
get you bubbles can get you
goggles and money can do a
lot of things money money
please get me bubbles bubbles

If-ing Is My Hobby
Kayleigh L.

If-ing is my hobby
I do it every day.
I do it with my brother,
In our special way.

If we had some powers,
Or if some things were real,
We would use those special things,
Like a magic seal.

That’s the reason I like if-ing.
Which is sort of like pretend.
It is really fun to do
I do it cause I can.

Isabella R.


I had a boat I would go sailing

If I went sailing I would go to
an island
If I went to an island I would
collect rare fruits

If I got rare fruits I would try
If I didn’t like them I would
throw up

If I would throw up I would be

If I was hungry I would sail back

If I sailed back as so I
got there I would realize I forgot
my phone

If I forgot my phone I would
say . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

What ever!

Julian R.

if I had a mansion I will have
parties every Saturday because
I’m in a big house it would
be insane

If I
Olumide R.

If I did a triple back flip
I would be proud.

If I had a lot of money I would
buy an Xbox and play Fortnite for a

If I had a Dog Man: Fetch 22 I would
would read it over and over.

If I had a big flat screen TV I
would play Fortnite on it.

If I had a Playstation 5 I would
play it a lot.

If I had a Playstation VR head
set I would love it.

If I had an iPhone Pro and
Apple Watch I would brag about



“Writing poetry makes me feel like I can see myself, like I can see my reflection, but not in a mirror, in the world. I write and I know I can be reflected.”
-Oscar S.

“Writing poetry makes me feel free.”
-Buenda D.

“Writing poetry is like your best friend.”
-Jessica M.