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There’s that pencil again.
You’d think by now it’d have been thrown away.
I would have tossed it ages ago.
I’m not sure why they haven’t.

Firstly, it’s been chewed.
By everyone.
At least the dog and the baby.
I picked it up once
and had to wash my hands for 5 minutes straight to feel clean again.

And the eraser? I don’t think it even came with one.
The lead: brittle.
The wood: flaking away.
I don’t think you can even call it a pencil.
It’s a disgrace to writing utensils everywhere.

And yet they keep it.
Rolling around in the back of the drawer.

I could tell you some tales about that pencil.
Remember that letter?
Yes, that letter. Oohh! It was scandalous!
I hear the look on his face when he read it- priceless!
I still can’t get over it.

And it’s still there. Ugh. Why do they keep it around?
It pains my eyes to even look at it.
Pains my ears to hear it scratch on paper.
If you can call it scratching. Screeching.
Will someone just put it out of its misery?

Yes. That’s what we should do.
And by “we” I mean you, because I’m not going to touch it.

Throw it out.
Crush it.
Leave it abandoned in a landfill for a thousand years.
Pray, even more.
It deserves nothing less. And far worse.

We could burn it.
And all laugh.

It’s hideous.

Here. I’ll close my eyes and plug my nose
And do it quickly.
The faster the better.
And never see it again.
It’s dead to me.

And I do it.

Because it’s a thing,
not a person.


TopHat is putting her roots down in the Bay Area with her husband and three children. She loves the earth, yarn, and bicycling.

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4 Responses

  1. Caroline says:

    This is terrific. I didn’t know you were a poet!

    • TopHat says:

      Thanks! I wrote poetry voraciously as a teen (but don’t we all?) and haven’t dabbled in it much since then. But sometimes you just need the form.

  2. Maria says:

    That was a great poem!

  3. Jessica F says:

    Love it.

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