Oh no, it's time to read out loud again
I hate doing it and find it such a pain
I stutter and everyone can see
reading aloud is anathema to me.
"Royston" it's your turn the teacher said
and with faltering voice the book is read.
I feel them looking at me as I stand there
increasing my embarrassment as they stare.
Words move and punctuation disappears
as the minutes drag adding to my fears,
then my worst nightmare unexpectedly reared
up on the page as a long word appeared.
It seemed as large as a mountain to me
and all the class my awkwardness could see.
I dread reading out loud and get so upset.
Being a bad reader I still regret.
Many years later I feel the disgrace
for that boy from the past stands in my place.
When asked to read I can feel such a fool
for I become like that child back at school.
But I'm in my seventy second year
and too old to be controlled by this fear.
Why should the child of the past so dictate
and drive this man into a wretched state?
But I'm determined to do my very best
to ensure that this ghost is put to rest.
So with the help from God and from my friends
I'll stand up and read ‘til the haunting ends.