There are so few Laryngectomees in each country, a tiny percentage of the population, those people who have actually survived throat cancer and learnt to speak again, that many people can go through their whole life without ever meeting one.

When that happens however, the sound of their harsh artificial voice comes as a shock, and many Laryngectomees find themselves being stared at in curiosity.

A friend in North Dakota, Donna Kehm, had such an experience in a restaurant, when a lady could not stop staring at her. I told Donna how I overcome this problem, and dedicate this poem to her.

NEVER SHORT OF FRIENDS

By Len A.Hynds

Silence now pervades the air,
only a thumb to throat to talk.
Strangers in surprise do stare,
at the sound as past they walk.

In shops I do apologise,
explaining about the voice.
Then they have such warmth in their eyes,
when they know that I have no choice.

And in that brief moment of time,
the warmth of their nature it shows,
and then you get so many smiles,
as their genuine friendship grows.