“If Only I had…” Poem by Glenn Miller

Production was humming and all seemed so glad,
‘Though shortcuts in safety were known to be bad,
No one had experienced the true depths of “sad”
That accompanies the phrase, “If Only I had….”

It seemed oh, so tragic how he ended his life,
And now we must face his children and wife,
We could have avoided this terrible strife!
As our guilt creates pangs of, “If Only I had….”

Where was that equipment that Safety once bought?
Complaints and excuses is all that it brought,
Had he remembered what long-ago he was taught!
No need would there be for, “If only I had….”
The risks were apparent, but ignored all around,
As unresolved hazards for all did abound,
We foolishly thought we were still safe and sound, “
‘til the deadly reminder, “If Only I had….”

They’d never get hurt; from experience, they knew,
While tight budgets left improvements long overdue,
Complacent we were, it surely was true,
Ignoring the warnings of, “If Only I had….”

It was just for a moment that he would tempt fate,
His machine became jammed and the order was late,
How could a brief “lapse” end in this sorry state?
With regret, we keep thinking, “If Only I had….”

My nightmare ended and I awoke with a start,
Was it real with me guilty of playing a part?
My mind was still racing with pain in my heart,
All caused by that phrase, “If Only I had….”

But, then my thoughts turned in a much better way,
To searching my mind deeply on what I might say,
And in true desperation, I started to pray,
On how to change risks of, “If Only I had….”

“Oh Lord, help me improve and effectively reach
Those co-workers and friends to whom safety we teach,
And let us consistently practice what we preach”,
To forever avoid, “If Only I had….”

May we always be guided by my nightmare, so strange,
And re-double efforts, safety culture to change,
We’ll all be accountable, our priorities to re-arrange,
So we jointly point proudly to, “We’re sure glad we had….”

©Glenn Miller 2018

Published by Stephen Kovatch

Senior Client Manager  Stephen J. Kovatch focuses on assisting clients in establishing corporate regulatory compliance programs in the areas of air, water, and waste management. Mr. Kovatch also provides direction to industrial facility owners who are active in the transaction of contaminated property by defining objectives, coordinating soil and water sampling protocols, risk assessment, and remedial / cleanup activities. He frequently represents clients in property sales negotiations and regulatory agency and insurance proceedings.

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