POEM: Skilcraft pens

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Skilcraft pens

we had dozens of these
when I was a kid
every one of the
identical black bullets
marked “U.S. Government”
my dad brought them home
they were on his workbench
and in our junk drawer
and beside the phone
Dad used them to write his
precise, blocky script
Mom made shopping lists
using the penmanship she’d learned
back when they still taught such things
I used them to create role-playing
characters (strength, dexterity, etc.)
and I imagine them on the desks of
millions of government employees
keeping track, ordering, remitting
running the daily business of the country
before computers replaced the need
for a pen and sheets of carbon paper
before every form looked the same

23 July 2013
Auburn AL

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