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Changing the words

Alan Badmington | 01.07.2013

By Alan Badmington

Alan BadmingtonI couldn’t say muffin, I couldn’t say butter
If I ordered a burger I’d stumble and stutter
So instead of me saying the words that I should
I’d swap them for others, I hoped that I could

But you can’t always leave out the words that you dread
There are times when a certain thing has to be said
My sister’s called Sarah, my best friend is Ben
They just wouldn’t answer to Lucy and Len

Whenever I spotted a difficult sound
I’d hastily juggle my sentence around
I spent so much energy word rearranging
Whenever I spoke I was chopping and changing

My efforts to search for an easier word
Resulted in sentences sometimes absurd
At times my selections just didn’t make sense
Which made me more anxious, frustrated and tense

Each time I avoided a troublesome sound
I felt rather guilty and very soon found
That my fear of speaking increased even more
The number of ‘problem words’ started to soar

In time I discovered that word substitution
Was simply avoidance and not a solution
Although I was fluent, or so it appeared
The words I avoided became much more feared

One day I decided enough was enough
I made myself promise, although it was tough
To say what I wanted, whatever the letter
At times I still struggled but I felt so much better

Today I will say any letter or sound
Confronting my fears is the best way I’ve found
Should I ever be tempted to waver sometime
I’ll remember the message contained in this rhyme.

From Speaking Out Summer 2013, p17