Short Story

By Will Walker

Start with a question––say, Where does this pencil

come from? Then imagine for a moment

the little symphony of stories attached––


the graphite, sweet cedar, glue that sticks

the wooden halves together,

factory that makes a flood of pencils even now,


foreman who comes home with the smell of cedar

in his hair, trucker who carts in the little steel jackets

that hold the erasers, the distant source of rubber


for the tips themselves––and soon

you have a world, several continents tingling

with the intricate tale, even before


you think about the woman in Peoria

using a pencil just like yours––a Mirado

Black Warrior, HB2, arrived


from only God knows where, or when––

who writes a cryptic note to her husband Jake––

Gone for smokes, back soon––



Will Walker lives in San Francisco with his wife and their dog. He (the writer, not the dog) is a former editor of the Haight Ashbury Literary Journal. His collection of poems, Wednesday after Lunch, is available on Amazon.

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