Colored Pencils

Colored Pencils

 

I went to my room and closed the door against the arguments in the kitchen.

That’s when I found the oak desk Mum had bought me at a garage sale.

In the bottom drawer, there was box of colored pencils.

Eagerly I fumbled with the lid, releasing the pencils to clatter across the desk.

 

They were all lightly used, except the Burnt Umber, shorter

lacerated with chips and chews like the unfinished Babylonian tower.

Beaten and abused. I picked up the other colors and hardly noticed

when my elbow nudged it off the edge.

 

I began to draw.

 

the fireplace where my family gathered, cider mugs warming our hands,

longing for snowfall that clouds tantalized us with overhead.

 

the bohemian rug where

friends and I giggled in our sleeping bags

relaying out deepest secrets.

 

I was nearly finished except for the couch. Dependable

and old, it was familiar.

My eyes darted to the pencil caught in the plastic liner

of my waste bin among wrappers and cans.

I retrieved it, its shape, fit

impeccably in my hand. Gingerly I sharpened it,

twisting slowly, letting the curls fall away.

I drew the last piece, which was hardest for me to do.

 

the cracked and sagging, ancient leather couch,

the one I sat on when Mum and Dad told me he was cheating on her

where I cried for hours, wondering if it was my fault.

 

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