On Pens & Pencils

When hot August days grew short,

my mother piled my sister, brother and me

into our Country Squire station wagon

for a trip to Bruce’s Variety store.

Notebooks, pens, pencils,

metal lunchboxes, erasers and loose-leaf paper

spread out before us,

occupying two whole aisles of the eclectic dime store.

My brother headed straight for lunch boxes —

the choice could speak volumes in the elementary classroom.

Superheroes, cowboys and The Partridge Family splashed across tin pails

that when unlatched, revealed a thermos nestled in its top.

I, on the other hand,

stood in reverence before trays of pens, pencils,

colored pencils, ballpoint pens,

markers and plain old number 2 pencils.

My mother limited us to the essentials for the first week of school.

I argued one could never have enough writing instruments.

At home, I carefully unwrapped my bounty

onto the soft comforter of my brass bed.

A multi-colored bag served as my pencil pouch.

I thought carefully about the scribing tools needed

on the first day of junior high school.

Today, thinking back on long ago shopping trips,

I need only glance up at my wide array

of writing implements to realize

I may never be cured of this simple obsession.

9 thoughts on “On Pens & Pencils

  1. Looks a bit like my desk with the addition of small paint brushes and micro pens for drawing. I love looking of pencils and pencils. My poor grandson is already joining the family interest in writing at 22 months he has two sets of markers thick and thin and baby crayons. We are having a good time. Love you memories!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Leigh Anne Eck says:

    Oh, you had me at pens! I am also obsessed! InkJoy is my favorite but I have been experimenting with others. I still gravitate to the pen aisles in stores – even if I am just looking!

    Liked by 1 person

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