Apologies to Each Eraser

Robert and Marcy Branski Poetry Scholarship – Poetry

Lola Russell

Greenspire High School / Career Tech – 11th Grade

I want to thank Each eraser,
On the end of each pencil, That I’ve worn through
In the first months of school Each year.

Thank you
For rubbing away each mistake That dented the paper I wrote on As I quickly
And half-heartedly
Dragged the pencil along the page.

Thank you
For being the factory-made solution I needed Each time the shiny graphite revealed
I had done something wrong.

But, Really,
Why did you have to do that? It was because,

I took your help for granted, Over and over again,
Even when you were scraped down to a millimeter And there was evidence,
In the form of deep pink wisps,

Around my feeble attempt at a response On the paper.

And as I continued To erase,
Any and all, Misspelled words
And incorrect punctuation, The moldable metal
That connected you
To the rest of the wood
Began to scratch against the paper.

I realized then
That all I could ever focus on Were my responses,
My handwriting filling the lined paper, My words being written
Exactly as we had learned in Kindergarten.

And I’m sorry that I Decided who you would be
Right when you left the flimsy cardboard box And replaced you
When you could no longer Be the quick-fix
For everything I had done.