Stub of a Red Pencil

Stub of a Red Pencil

You were sharpened to a fine point
With a rusty razor blade.
Then the unknown hand swept the shavings
Into its moist palm
And disappeared from view.

You lay on the desk next to
The official-looking document
With a long list of names.
It was up to us to imagine the rest:
The high ceiling with its cracks
And odd-shaped water stains;
The window with its view
Of roofs covered with snow.

An inconceivable, varied world
Surrounding your severe presence
On every side,
Stub of a red pencil.

Charles Simic

American poet of Serbian origin

Charles Simic (b. 1938) – American poet of Serbian origin. He was born and lived for 16 years in Belgrade. He learned English after immigrating to the United States. He writes about jazz, art, and philosophy. He is co-editor of The Paris Review. He has published articles about Polish Poetry in The New York Review of Books. His volume The World Doesn’t Need Prose Poems received the Pulitzer Prize in 1986. In 2014, he was awarded the Herbert Literary Award.

Pic. Beowulf Sheehan