Poem: I could have been a stammerer

A man looking at the camera and smiling

With his new poem, Tim Shanks imagines the different stammerer he could have been.

I Could Have Been A Stammerer

By Tim Shanks

In the past I was a person whose name I dared not speak

I have been crying years of silent shame
playing a solitary game of hide and speak fluently

I have felt like a lame excuse
not able to walk the talk

When called upon to speak
I have freaked out and not spoken out

I have been a tense person
looking for a future perfect

I could have seen things differently

I could have been a calm person
Who accepted an imperfect future

I could have defined myself better
than a person trying not to stammer

I could have cancelled my fearful self
and let my stammered words be me

I could have been proud of my p p p p ps
And not minded my q q q qs

I could have shouted and spouted
and flouted the conventions of fluent speech

My lips could have pouted like a trout
My words could have stumbled with gout

But my pride could have come from such falls
I would have had the freedom of stammered speech

I would not have been a giant shackled
by the chains of unattainable fluency

I could have been a normal sized person

Read more of Tim's Your Voice pieces:

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Tayo & Bhupinder
A speaker on stage at STAMMAFest 2023

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