Pencil

By Taylor Mitcham
First Place of the David Middleton Poetry Award

When you push me down
hard, I leave behind a trail of thick black smoke
on the straight one-way roads.
I’m a vehicle to dreams and you
think you are the driver, but
it’s me who makes the paper comes to life. Hazy
swirls dance and as you take a sharp turn, I
break.
Don’t worry. You
fix me right up with your surgical blades.
I’m sharp and new again,
becoming the source of all creation in a vast blank
sheet, filling the white spaces with creatures that make phonetic sounds when
cramped together.
Yet sometimes
you use me to create worlds without sound but full of
shades which move like a washer set on
high. Shaking the very earth with your
realm of ideas.
The things you use me for carry
weight.
Too heavy for the
page to contain.
Sometimes
quivering heartbeats carry the wide spaced leaf to accepting
strangers.
But other times
the creation becomes ripped to shreds and thrown in
the black abyss where everything you used me for
is gone.