The Latch

In the time before events were recorded,

Called the "Pre-historic age" if memr'y serves;

People back then seemed to muddle through

Primarily on the strength of their nerves.

Neanderthals had no language - to speak of

No learning - and none did they crave;

But they were smart enough to know there were

"thangs" out there

So they built a fire in the mouth of the cave.

Thousands of years have gone by since then

And each generation has had ideas to hatch;

But the smartest invention of the common man

Has, undoubtedly, got to be…. The LATCH.

The Pilgrims come by their smarts the hard way

Their descendants came to know even more;

One great piece of advise was passed down the


When it gets dark, go inside and LATCH THE


There are "thangs" out there that'll grab you

And scare you out of ten years of growth;

It's better to do like our ancestors did;

Build a fire…. latch the door…. Or BOTH.

I've known even brave men to tremble

At things that "go bump in the night;"

It wouldn't surprise me at all to learn

That even John Wayne has had him a fright.

I was raised by my parents to be a gentleman

With manners suitable to the task;

Open doors for the ladies; say "Yes, Ma'am," and


And, if you want something, be polite and ask.

I've practiced the manners they taught me

I'm a nice guy right down to the core;

But, if we're out there in the dark

Lady…. Don't ye' GIT ‘tween me and that


Sam Elmore - October 1993