He wrote in pencil, as most children do —
Because in learning, errors were okay.
Encouraged, even. No mistake was too
Persistent to be simply rubbed away.
From “my first day of school” to “three plus three,”
His pages grayened, smeared with graphite trails
(Some hastily effaced, so none would see
His little slips and trips, forgets and fails).
At recess, one fine, sunny afternoon,
A sparkling trinket caught his sparkling eye,
Its owner was away…might be back soon,
He thought, and seized his day ere she walked by.
He never did forget his teacher’s rage,
Or the sorry girl he’d wronged, and her tear-streamed face.
With his confession, he approached the age
Of knowing some mistakes can’t be erased.
A few years later down the line of life,
His English teacher said, “We’re using ink!
You see, in learning, errors are alright,
But now, you’re held accountable, I think.”
The student gripped his ballpoint steadily,
Beginning his assignment. Scribbling quick,
He filled the page with black quite readily,
And finished first, with ink still fresh and thick.
His errors, though, glared back at him; right then
He knew he’d have to start to live in pen.