The Smell of Pencils
The roaring machine cuts and shapes
A cedar log into neat straight planks
And creates the smell of pencils.
The dust and noise fade
Into the dull drone
Of a teacher talking Latin.
Motes of dust in a stray sunbeam,
The sound of Latin verbs,
And the lingering smell
Of freshly sharpened pencils.
And a boy with dirty knees
Watching the dust drift.
To the sound of pencils sharpened
And the smell of freshly forgotten Latin verbs,
The boy imagines a giant machine
That chops and hews
The trunks of trees
Into neat straight planks.