by Jim Abbott

I hear the bell ring
Another school day begins 7 hours of waiting
For another school day to end

7 hours of panic
And 7 hours of pain
7 hours of frustration
It's always the same

So I lurk in the shadows
Trying to hide from the shame
Dreading that moment
When she'll call out my name

Oh, I know the right answers
You're damn right I do
But I'll sit there in silence
Like some lifeless statue

It's not that I'm stupid
Nor some kind of freak
It's just that there's something
Not quite right with my speech

It doesn't flow freely
Like a quiet, peaceful stream
It's churning and it's choppy
like a storm upon the sea
Not gentle and smooth
It's angry and it's mean
It's raging and it's rocky
That tangles up my tongue
No matter what I do
Like some kind of tidal wave
That I can't control

So I watch the seconds tick by
The hours and minutes drag on
I stare at the clock
What is taking it so long

Telling myself if I get thru with this day
Maybe tomorrow will be different
Maybe tomorrow I'll find a way
A way to finally say
What I've wanted to say

Yes, maybe tomorrow will be the day I can make my voice heard
And say all of those words
All of those wonderful words that I've always wanted to say
Maybe tomorrow WILL be different
If I can thru with this day

Time passes slowly But indeed it does pass
Bell rings, schools out
I rush home from class
This day is done
And somehow I feel I've won
At least for a little while

This poem was written thru the eyes of my youth
But those memories still burn in my soul
The thoughts and the feelings I tried hard to bury
So many, many years ago

You see, tomorrow never came
My speech remained the same
Of course, my life has moved on
But there are times I still think
Late at night, when I can't sleep
Maybe tomorrow
My stuttered speech
Will be gone

added with permission of the author
July 4, 2000