Ruth Osornio is a recent Summa Cum Laude graduate from California State University, Fullerton, with a Bachelors of the Arts in Communicative Disorders. She currently holds her SLPA License and is an aspiring SLP and University Professor. She has a fervent desire to interact more with the stuttering community and was inspired to create this poem on the basis of her childhood friends who stutter and her 2-year long University Honors Research Project on gender biases and stuttering. When Ruth does not have her head in the books, she enjoys singing and voice-acting. She is especially fascinated by the phenomenon of how singing affects stuttering.
The change I wish to see is a world where people who stutter are being heard. A world where their voices matter and people stop to take the time to listen. A world where people who stutter find strength within themselves to speak their mind. A world where people who do not stutter treat people who do stutter with the dignity they deserve.
I Am Not a Stutterer
I am not a stutterer.
I am a person who stutters.
My voice is trapped within my body, but
there is fire burning bright inside.
Just because my speech isn’t fluid doesn’t mean I’m not worth a try.
I see your face. I watch reaction.
I see a snicker. I see dissatisfaction.
There is beauty within if you would just listen.
The time it takes to hear me out is worth the treasure that lies within.
When I sing, you listen as the melodies fill my lungs and free my speech.
When my song is done and I start to talk,
I look up but no one is here to flock.
Why must it only be a melody in which I sing that pierces your heart?
Why must my soul cry in song, but once done no one finds that I belong?
Listen please. Listen now.
I would even shout if it changed the fluidity.
But alas, my voice is left without a tone.
I am lost within my humanity.
Yet, I dream of a world in which this is not so.
Where I speak and others listen.
But…it starts with me to create a fire.
A small spark to set the Earth ablaze.
How can society change without me changing first?
Hence, I will not hold my tongue.
Whether song or speech there is beauty within.
So, listen to my beautiful fire.
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