As Thursday's last hour winds down, Dr. Jacques Bailly's monotone expounds
that this unprecedented bee must conclude after 20 rounds.
All remaining spellers who survive the bleary-eyed, late-night ambience,
the emcee says, will potentially be named champions.
Rishik thus shuffles to the mic where he faces 'auslaut,'
making quick work of his final word, raising his fists as in a boxing bout.
Erin, next, feels "great to be here," dances, fist pumps when she hears 'erysipelas;'
she easily dispatches what, to mortal spellers, would belittle us.
Saketh weathers all four pronunciations of 'bougainvillea'
and jumps back to his seat, first champion ever from Marylandia.
Shruthika stalks the microphone warily, settles her shoulders to 'aiguillette;'
her smile breaks like sunrise across her face once she spells it, no sweat.
Sohum's next, all hands-in-jacket-pockets ho hum; he gets 'pendeloque,'
licks his lips, and spews the spelling before any time falls off the clock.
Abhijay stands on verge of hyperventilating as what paddles up is 'palama.'
He gives three letters, pauses, asks three more questioningly, wins, with drama.
Christopher's word fits his drooping shoulders: they're notably 'cernuous,'
yet he hardly makes meeting his last challenge even look strenuous.
Rohan goes last, once again more than okay to avoid gutturals with 'odylic.'
It means force of nature, fitting all eight champions perfect as acrylic.