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The World Is in Pencil by Todd Boss

I was just looking at photos of cats painting on walls and blank canvases. Before that, I was staring out the window, spurred out of my chair with the sudden noise. The culprit: fireworks at past one in the morning while everybody else is asleep. Earlier, I was in bed weeping while watching The Lion King, with C. bent over laughing every time she hears me sniffle.

Sometimes in a day there are things that do not make much sense. But they happen anyway, and I am thankful.

My father shares his apprehensions about me leaving on a red eye flight. You’re going to a country that you don’t know at all, he says. You’re landing there during the wee hours, and you’re a woman. I am told these are all bad things. I wanted to ask if he meant them in that order.

Sometimes in a day I experience a spectrum of emotions that don’t go well together, like terrible and loved, this week’s winning combo. But I feel them anyway. I try to be thankful.

Here’s a life I would like to have: one where I surround myself with people willingly, and the world doesn’t chafe as much. One where I am not afraid to go when I have stayed long enough. One where I don’t desire to leave each time I am at a standstill.

Sometimes in a day I wish for the world to move even if I am dreadfully unsure, and it does move, and how. I never get rid of the uncertainty, no. But I feel thankful anyway.

The World Is in Pencil
Todd Boss

—not pen. It’s got

that same silken
dust about it, doesn’t it,

that same sense of
having been roughed

onto paper even
as it was planned.

It had to be a labor
of love. It must’ve

taken its author some
time, some shove.

I’ll bet it felt good
in the hand—the o

of the ocean, and
the and and the and

of the land.

(from Poetry Foundation)

Comments (1)

  • Oh how lovely! The and and the and of the land in pencil dust. My land is the and of snow dust, a culmination of neglected shovelling.


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