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Ashlar Home > Poems > Tom Lyle > The Way It Otta-be

The Way It Otta-be

By Tom Lyle

If I should win the lottery,
(and that's the way it otta-be),
then I'd give up my never-be
and set myself forever free.

If I should find rare coinery,
(and that's the way it otta-be),
then I'd give up my couldn't-be,
and set myself forever free.

If I should gain fine jewelry,
(and that's the way it otta-be),
then I'd give up my shouldn't-be
and set myself forever free.

Never-be, couldn't-be, shouldn't-be,
how did they gain their mastery
to cloud my self-discovery?
(Is that the way it otta-be?)

If I should win my liberty,
(and that's the way it otta-be),
then I'd give up my slavery,
and set myself forever free.

But what-if my IF should never-be?
Some rather When than IF you see,
for When is like a future tree,
and IF is just a doubt-in-me.

A real good WHEN is gold to me.
A bad WHEN is a grave to-be.
Now good WHAT-IFS can set me free,
but bad WHAT-IFS' can bury me.

So how then should it otta-be?
It seems God left it up to me
to search each possibility
within my heart's own treasury.
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