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Ashlar Home > Poems > Earl W. Owens > The First Line

The First Line

By Earl W. Owens

It's Lodge Night , and I'm getting ready
To assemble myself with the craft
I've gone through my lecture so many times
Seems I know it now, both fore and aft.

I'm confident I guess. And I should be
For I've spoken many months in a mumble
I know that the Brethren, will all be impressed
When you're good, It's hard to be humble.

So it's out to the car, and away I go
Then fear strikes me, clear to the bone
I'd better go through this. Just one more time,
It's my last chance, while I'm still alone.

I've hardly noticed this trip at all
Now suddenly, I'm parking the car
My hearts beating wildly. As I climb the stairs
I hear voices. Not near, but far.

Their lips are all moving, but I don't hear a word
I have to concentrate on my First Line
Sure it'll be easier the next time around
But the trick is to do it the first time.

The Lodge is now open, and the work has begun
The first section's about to come to a close
Gee, I should have gone to the men's room.
I feel faint, and I can't breathe through my nose.

They've just called my name, and I've taken my place
Boy! They don't give a feller much time
And I've lost my book in a shirt with one pocket
And I can't remember my First Line.

I've learned a good lesson. It is I who's impressed
And I shall never forget this first time
After all of the prompting, I now am convinced,
Know it all, as good as the First Line!!
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