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Fourth Grade Speech
Jeff Burt


Refuse to hear the stampeding silence,
the rush of hooves inside your head

an advancing cavalry in your ear,
buffaloes rumbling across the flat ground

of the elastic prairie of your timpani.
It will pass. You will survive the horns

and fade into obscurity once more.
You will sit down, the words you stammered

like a bad hammer will not be recorded.
The beasts will go about their grazing.

Your classmates’ lives will fast forward
even though your life has stopped.

© by Jeff Burt.
Used with the author’s permission.



Jeff Burt lives on the Central Coast of California with his wife. He has worked in electronics and mental health administration. Jeff claims to have learned about never-ending energy from his grandchildren, and about perpetual motion opportunities from his Labrador; he is grateful for both. You can see more of Jeff's work here, and learn more about him at

Post New Comment:
stampeding in your ears - perfect
Posted 11/07/2019 01:23 PM
Years and years and years past the fourth grade, this poem resonates with me. Love it!!
Posted 11/07/2019 10:30 AM
Every word, every line--perfect!
Posted 11/07/2019 10:02 AM

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