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Oh Cedar

By John I. Blair

I have always loved the smell of pencils being sharpened, at least if they're made of cedar wood.

Tell me . . .
Do schoolrooms still smell
Of chalk dust, paste
And cedar shavings?

Or is this another
Memory of mine
Thatís been laid waste?

I know the smell will yet include
That scent of little children
So loved by witches, wolves
And things that wait in wardrobes.

But in the schoolroom of my mind
I somehow felt
Safe from harm
Bell to bell.

Perchance
It was the cedar incense
Cast the charm.

So Iíll take my number twos,
My number ones,
Ticonderogas, Empires, Staedtlers,
Fabers, Monarchs, Dixons,
And sharpen them to needle tips

In hopes the fragrance
Thus produced
Still keeps the imps of hell
Out in the hall.

©2011 John I. Blair


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