If you could rewind time what would you do different
Would you have gathered the tools in life to influence and make a difference?
Would you have listened?
Would you have made better decisions?
Would you have surrounded yourself with people
Who had better intentions?
Would you finish school, get a job, and make an honorable living?
Or would you have jumped off the porch
To be the average statistic?
Would you cherish your friendships?
Or be more careful and distant?
Would you have been humble though affliction
And find strength in religion?
Would you have disobeyed the code, just to get out of prison?
Ask yourself would you have strived
To aid your brother and sisters?
Or would you still be on the corner selling drugs for a living?
Even though you know the consequences creates a conviction.
These questions I’ve asked myself are now for those who listen
If you could rewind time what would you do different?
Would you change who you are? Would you paint a different picture?
Would you follow the same path or put sights on a different vision?
If you could rewind time what would you do different?
Would you have loved the ones you didn’t?
Or make love a distant feeling?
And although I feel like life is pre-written
My question remains consistent
If you could rewind time what would you do different?


  1. Lisa Winett on January 12, 2020 at 10:26 AM

    I love this…I teach English Language Arts to 6-8th graders in Baltimore City, and while those students may not be doing anything illegal, they often times choose not to do their school work, read, write, learn the way they are asked to learn. I know it is hard to settle our minds when we are young, but somehow, I wish we could convince or instill in our young people how important it is to do the work as it is given to you.

  2. Patrick on March 4, 2020 at 12:06 PM

    This poem is very intersting and I love the way you help the auidence do self reflection. Often times we find it hard to critcize the choices we made in life and I find it inspiring that you were able to accomplish such an amazing task. Thank you for sharing your poem. -Pat

  3. Michalla Nixon on March 20, 2020 at 11:07 AM

    Thank you so much for sharing your work, I really enjoy this piece, as life is all about choices. Through your writing we get to see just a few of the many choices that we make in life that can change everything and who we are. We create our own destiny in a way, and as you said, our life is pre-written. If you are religious, it is comforting knowing that we have someone that knows the plan of our life, and knows every choice we are going to make, but we do have a part in this. Very thought-provoking, and I will definitely be recommending this piece to some of my classmates. I hope you continue writing, as you are very talented. This piece will stick with me and I have no doubt in my mind that I will refer to your message every time I am in a situation in which a choice should be made.

  4. Jen Des on March 25, 2020 at 1:29 PM

    Your poem speaks to people in all walks of life. It is universal to question your decisions and “rewind” time wonder what would you do different? I love that we have opportunity to make a difference everyday by staying in the present and looking back too long. Your words break that down so beautifully. Thank you for your writing and keep it up. I look forward to more of your work.

  5. Julianna Mann on March 26, 2020 at 3:38 PM

    Dear IS,

    Your poem is very insightful and full of questions I never thought to ask myself. Everyone is filled with some sort of regret and wishes they could turn back time. It is important to remember that the mistakes you make do not define you, but rather help you to grow into a better person. Your poem has made me reflect on my own life, so thank you for writing your truth.

  6. Ian on April 8, 2020 at 1:41 PM

    I love this poem. I really like how you wrote it in the second person, really drawing the reader into the work and engaging them about the choices people make in their lives. I can tell that you have spent a long time thinking about these questions and by sharing them in this rhetorical format brings strength to your own story. I encourage you to continue writing because I really like your structure and I look forward to reading more of your work.

  7. Bahareh on April 11, 2020 at 4:40 PM

    IS, the way you phrase your questions in this poem is so powerful and makes the readers reflect on their own life. Reflecting is something that should happen every few months or so, not just around the new year (although it is a very good idea to reflect during that time as well). Reading this made me want to look back and see what I would have changed in my past. Thank you for writing this poem and for helping us remember to look back and learn from our past in order to continue our journey forward.

  8. Hayley on April 13, 2020 at 12:02 PM

    Hi IS,

    I loved the way the voice of this poem is flipped. A lot of poems are introspective and talk about what the writer would’ve done differently, but you asked us. I’ve never taken the time to ask myself these questions because I, like you, feel like life is “pre-written”, and you can’t change the past. However, I feel like answering these questions will help me figure out how I want to shape my future and help myself in ways that I can control. The quote “those who don’t study history are doomed to repeat it” comes to mind, and it makes me see the value in asking myself these questions. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Kayelynn on April 13, 2020 at 2:27 PM

    Dear IS,

    I really like your writing style and your calm writing voice. You get introspective in your poem and think back on what you would’ve/could’ve done differently in your life. It’s also interesting that you ask the reader the same question and it made me look inwardly as well and think about my life up to this point. I look forward to reading other pieces like this one that make readers reflect!

  10. heysyd123 on April 17, 2020 at 2:08 PM

    Okay, this was really beautiful. I loved that everything was a question. And even though they could be considered rhetorical questions, I felt like I had to answer everyone. I don’t know if this poem was about you and for you, but I felt like in a way it was about me and for me. It was really cool to read. It also inspired me to be better.

    Thanks for writing this!

  11. Alejandra Martinez on April 17, 2020 at 2:12 PM

    This poem is wonderful. I can relate to it a lot, often I ask myself; If i would’ve changed one thing differently in my youth would it have impacted where I am right now. Things happen for a reason and every decision we make is why we’re in a current situation, but I believe if it can’t be fixed, it’s a lesson to learn from. Thank you for sharing and please continue writing more poems.

  12. Jordan Kilgallen on April 23, 2020 at 2:48 PM

    This is a fantastic piece of writing. I love how the opening and ending lines are the same. The constant line of questioning makes it as though the reader cannot escape the thought provoking journey you are taking them on. I am still running the questions through my head. I think your line, “although I feel like life is prewritten,” is contradicting to the question you are asking because the opening question perpetuates that you have the power to make a difference. Thank you for sharing.

  13. Jocelyn Matos on April 28, 2020 at 6:26 PM

    Lets Gooo! This poem was my favorite, To fully answer the meaning of this insightful message that answer is yes. I would do things different. I would love different. I would have tried to make a difference early on in life. My intentions would be better and id be more carful with friendships. If I could turn back time I would paint a different picture. I wish my vision was the vision I have now. We only have one life to live but different paths to choose from. In the end god has each destiny in hand. You are talented. Don’t waste it.

  14. Christine T. on May 14, 2020 at 2:17 PM

    Dear IS,

    I really liked how you composed most of the poem in the form of questions to the reader, which really helps pull the reader in and make it more personal of a reading experience. The idea of living with regret regarding things we believe we could have done differently in our lives in order to create a more positive outcome is something that most people can identify with, in one way or another. Your writing is extremely honest and open, which is something that I, and I’m sure many other readers, can deeply appreciate. You end your poem talking about how you believe that life is “pre-written,” which I agree with to an extent– while there are definitely different situations in our lives that we have no ability to control, such as the lives we are born into and the many societal structures that are in place to make sure that people from certain backgrounds succeed, it is important to remember that at the end of the day what we CAN control is our own personal growth, which mean a lot of deep introspection in order to develop into the best version of ourselves that we possibly can in any given situation. It is clear through your writing that you have definitely done a lot of reflecting on your past and the way that things could have been different if alternate decisions had been made– this is so important and not always easy to do.

    Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful poetry!

    Christine T.

  15. Koryana Boyle on June 25, 2020 at 8:10 PM

    Regret happens to all of us and it’s hard not to wonder how things would have turned out if the smallest thing was different. Your poem lists (probably) a few of the questions you ask yourself on the daily but I too have these questions floating around my head. You really captured the essence of these consistent thoughts by ending the poem the same way you started it: “If you could rewind time what would you do different?”. I love this poem.

  16. Ava D. on July 21, 2020 at 12:45 AM

    I think a lot of people wonder these same things to an extent. But we can’t go back, we can’t dwell on the past. We must focus on the future and better ourselves for then.

  17. N. B. on October 19, 2020 at 5:30 PM

    This poem really made me stop and think. Hard. It’s a beautiful piece of writing that implores the reader to think about their own past, while you artfully weave in details of yours. To me, your poem communicates regret. We all have regrets. Me; many, and you too it sounds like. However I hope you remember that all of your past choices, even if they were mistakes, have shaped who you are today. I don’t know you, but I can tell you’re thoughtful, compassionate, self-aware, and an incredible writer. I find that when I think really hard about who I am today, the answer to the question “If you could turn back time, what would you do different?” is usually “Nothing.”

  18. JM on November 6, 2020 at 11:33 AM

    Dear IS,

    Thank you for writing & sharing this poem– one of my favorite lines was, “If you could rewind time what would you do different? / Would you have loved the ones you didn’t?” Not only is this poem sophisticated in its use of rhyme and rhythm, but it’s also thought provoking. While some the potential regrets you list out are related to a specific experience, I think a few if not all of them resonate with everyone. I’m particularly struck by the last few lines, where you note, “Though I feel like life is pre-written.” This poem is a reminder that reflection and writing on our experience, noticing things, and writing them down is the way in which we start to create a different story. This poem inspired me to be reflective and intentional, and it was also enjoyable to read because of its rhythm. Thanks again for sharing.


  19. A on February 23, 2021 at 3:27 PM

    I really enjoyed this poem! It’s a question I get asked frequently as I get older, and it was interested to see how you contemplated the answer by asking yourself more questions. Bravo!

  20. Justin Lambert on July 20, 2021 at 1:36 PM

    This poem poses a lot of different questions and makes me wonder what I would do if given the power to go back and do things different. When mortality is concerned is probably where temptation would be the most present, especially if I had the chance to prevent something bad from happening. On the contrary, if I could just go back and redo every single misstep then how would I be able to learn from my actions? Either way it remains an interesting thought experiment.

  21. Oshane on February 5, 2023 at 2:29 PM

    Hi IS,

    I like your poem because it shows that even though life may seem like it’s already been planned out, we still have the power to make different decisions and make different things happen. Even though we can’t turn back time, this poem is a powerful reminder that we can make different choices and make different things happen. It tells us to think about the choices we make and how they will affect us, and to try to make the best decisions we can.

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