Changing the Words Around – Poem by Alan Badmington

Changing the Words Around



I 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 swop 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 re-arranging

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


I quickly 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.