#Bloganuary Writing Prompt: A Challenge You Faced and Overcame
Pimpled and bespectacled, I stood before the class
“One minute speech,” he said, “if you expect to pass.”
Butterflies a-flutter, my propensity to stutter,
Prevented speech, for only nonsense I could splutter.
“Sit down, Ryle,” he commanded with disdain,
“Another turn will come, if marks you wish to gain.”
Red-faced and downcast, I shuffled to my seat.
This fear of public speaking, showing off my sound defeat.
Now a retired preacher-man
who looks back on that occasion.
I shake my head and wonder
at the powers of persuasion.
Mentors woke within me
A strong and fervent passion
Tempered by my quietness
and words I liked to fashion
Some stints in factory and emporium
and some practice on cows in confusion
honed some oratory skill and an ornery will
to beat my shy disposition.
Yet Jonah-like I fled
Nineveh filled me with dread
Still the Inner Nudge-Nudge gently made me budge-budge
Fifty years on, speech has long been my bread.