Can't Have One Without The Other

by Jim Abbott

Of this I'm often told
By many of those
Whom I'll simply call well meaning souls
They remark to me
"My but you must be so pleased
For in days past I would always hear
Your stuttered speech, so severe
Oh how you would struggle so
Now as I listen, one would hardly know
You stand there before us, most confidently
Speaking your piece, quite fluently
How proud of yourself you must be>How very, very proud you must be"
Now, I know their expressions of congratulations
Are done with the absolute best of intentions
But on me such words are mostly wasted
While for the fluency that I can now sometimes achieve
Yes, I am no doubt very pleased
But as far as this subject of the feeling of pride
No sir, of that I can not abide
You see, years ago I did finally realize
That in fluent speech I can't feel any pride
For if it be pride that I felt in my moments of fluency
Then therefore it would follow (all quite logically)
That the opposite of pride, shame be its name
Would I feel towards myself when my stuttered speech did remain
And I steadfastly reject any and all feelings of shame

These two feelings that to you I relate
Just couldn't subsist least the existence of its mate
So not that I'm rude or that I don't appreciate
Those people that to me do try and congratulate
But what they say is just not necessary
No sir, no way
Simply put, I'll state it plainly
Such words to me are just not necessary

added with permission October 16, 2001