While down my back a bead of sweat does drip,
And my eyes go fleeting to soft carpet floor,
My tongue does tingle at thought of verbal slip,
As teacher-made applause begins to roar.
Letters, sharp as tacks, unfold their dark allure,
Potent spells waft off spellers made to fear,
And as the slip-of-lips’ rounds sound obscure,
Do I detect the faintest hint of tears?
But as now I stand with arms so entwined,
Trepidation a moment not supplied,
I find within myself a faith unmined,
And to my tight nerves I merely chide,
The glance of the judge stills the growing din;
I draw my final breath as I begin.