It's thin, it's yellow, it's HB or #2
It's a pencil with a worn eraser.
I've used it and its brothers and sisters, all my life.
Crayons were OK, but not for my airplanes,
careening across the sky,
bravely engaging Axis aircraft.
In 4th or 5th grade, fountain pens were used for English and penmanship, of course.
***** things, splat-splat.
But math was always pencils.
Double digit multiplication, long division with lots of erasings.
When it wasn't peashooter or marbles or some other season,
it was hangman in the back of the room.
In 8th grade, I wrote a 10-minute play.
Subject forgotten, but it was in pencil,
pressed hard for carbons for the other actors.
In high school, another use:
Pushing my frog around with the point,
and getting formaldehyde on it.
So I sharpened it.
I moved on to doodling in class,
during the dull parts
when I wasn't looking out the window.
(Schools weren't like prisons then).
Scribbled math became scribbled algebra,
I started shading that led to watercolor, which I hated,
No precision compared my pencil.
College boards, multiple choice, filling in the circles,
special high conductivity, ultra black pencils.
In graduate school, class notes and coding forms.
School doodling becames work doodling.
Though, I confess, I sometimes used a pen.
Late in life, my goal was to draw "real good".
Still pencils, but graphite too.
My new favorite is 9B for deep contrast.
That "real good" thing-- I'm working on it.
So put on my gravestone, for all to view
"He wrote as he drew, with a #2".