A Geezer's Journal: Ode to a pencil
Yellow stick, now
In assorted flagrant colors, but
For me always, and forever, amber,
I reach for you once again.
Thoreau made the ancient kind,
With flat-shaped lead
Sandwiched between two slices of
Tough oak. He could, they
Say, pick up a precise dozen
Out of a disheveled pile, time
Marvelous stick, my index
Finger pressed against your neck
In the gun metal blue dark,
You and I spend the morning working.
Your gray pointed needle, in
Leaps and bounds, feats of
Parabola creations makes,
Hissing softly across the page.
I press on, following your lead.
What you make, you can unmake,
In a curious touch,
Simply by standing on your head.
My steadfast, my graphite friend,
In a world of doubt,
As I have on so many
Dark, answer-less mornings before,
I hold on to you for dear life.
Richard Goodman is an assistant professor of creative nonfiction writing at the University of New Orleans. He’s the author of French Dirt: The Story of a Garden in the South of France.