A pencil is a metaphor for life
It begins untouched by the daily grind
With naive, optimistic, and unused graphite
Topped with a crown of second chances

Guardians begin to sharpen
The unaware, creative tool
Demonstrating possibilities
And allowing the crown to be tested

Off to school, the pencil must go
And through this lack of choice
Its graphite, its passionate core breaks
It grows wiser, yet slightly worn

All are worn at different rates
Depending on their environment
Then as graduation nears
Each bares a variety of imperfections

Holding onto their crowns
As well as they can
They apply to write “professionally”
In a pay-to-play society

They continue to grind and break
They are chewed on
They are pushed too hard and re-made
And they make more mistakes

Their crowns slowly, or quickly, become berets
Which is fitting as they scrape and crawl
From battle to battle
Uphill and back down, over and over

Then suddenly the beret is lost as well
So now as mistakes are made
Bare metal tears through
Already smudged and torn pages

Once the body is almost gone
Retirement sometimes comes
As the pencil lies in a junk drawer
It reminisces about all of its past words

And when its final moments arrive
After a deep breath and heavy sigh
The hand of death decides
It’s time for this pencil to say goodbye

pencil life metaphors