by Jim Abbott

In my youth, my childhood days
Always I had these fantasies
About the things I could do
And the wonders I could achieve
If it weren't for my accursed stuttering

I could change the world
If only these words
Didn't tie and tangle my tongue
There would be nothing standing in my way
And nothing that couldn't be done

I'd be a great leader of mice and men
Humanity would bow before me
I'd be both prophet and poet, perhaps even king
Ruler of everything I oversee

I knew I could move heaven and earth
And make mountains crumble into the sea
Most assuredly all this would be within my grasp
If it weren't for my stuttering

Never again would I have to work so hard
Everything would come easily
Failure would be a unknown word
Oh, how splendid my life it would be

Surely the sun would somehow shine brighter
There'd always be a warm summer breeze
The sky and the sea would be a deeper shade of blue
The grass a darker shade of green
People would smile, birds they would sing
This earth would be void of misery
I just knew all this would somehow come to be
If it weren't for my stuttering

And if I could speak more fluently
The ladies would all be in love with me
Don't ask me how, I just knew
That when I walked down the street
The girls that I'd meet
Their hearts would all flutter and swoon

Yes, every place I would go
I'd be the star of the show
I'd be so at ease
I'd be happy as you please
If it weren't for this damn stuttering

You see what it is that I'm trying to say
I let my disfluency always stand in my way
I could never do what I wanted to do
Nor be who I wanted to be
And when I met failure I always knew why
I had a built in excuse
What was the use
I stuttered
So why should I bother to try
So I just gave up and gave in
Knowing that I could never win

Well many years have since passed
And I can reflect on the past
With a wisdom that's gathered with age
Indeed there was something holding me back
There was something that stood in my way
It just took me some time
Before I realized
That that something simply was ME

Yes it's true my speech had caused me some pain
But I made the choice to run away
And lay the blame
On my stuttering

But it wasn't the fault
Of the way that I talked
Because people who stutter are free
Free to do what we want
And be who we want
We are free to do anything
And if we want it bad enough
And if we fight on long enough
And if we indeed are strong enough
There is nothing we can't achieve

Now perhaps I couldn't have changed the world
Or performed those miraculous feats
But when you grow up giving up
The way that I did
You're the only one you cheat
So take head of my words
For as your life unfurls
There are challenges you must face everyday
Don't do as I did
Never quit
Never give in
And let nothing EVER stand in your way

added with permission September 7, 2000