Elementary Pencils / by Karie Luidens

A cut description of childhood days.

I kept my own Elmer’s glue and Scotch tape in my desk, as well as a boxful of yellow pencils. If we raised our hands and asked permission we could grind our pencils in the big sharpener mounted on the front wall next to the chalkboard. The sound was intensely satisfying; so was the scent of the curly wood shavings, whose earthiness mixed with the bright odor of the paints at the craft station. I liked to keep a sharp pencil tip for writing stories on the lined paper that filled our folders. 

At 2 o’clock each afternoon I found Emily again on the marigold-painted school-bus that took us to Barbara’s daycare. There we joined David and the other littler ones, Kate and Emaline and the twins, and played away the late-day hours outside with them. The air was sweet still, wet and fresh. We embarked on long quests for four-leaf clovers in the sprawling yard, then pushed each other on the tire-swing amid the blowing golden rain of leaves. As September ended we raked this fallen foliage up in piles and took turns jump-scrunching into them one after another.