Rebecca E.

Blue As The Ocean

When I was little, I used to make necklaces out of paperclips
I’d sit on the floor
stringing together paperclip after paperclip
unconcerned by the fact that the chains were far too long
to fit around the neck of a little girl
My mom used to yell to me
“Be careful or you’ll use up all the paperclips!”
But I couldn’t help it

That small tub of paperclips is like a bowl of candy
Sometimes I’ll pick one up
And bend it into shapes
Twirling it in my fingers
Or coiling it until it cracks in two
In an audible “snap” of gratification

I used to color code my reports
Matching the paperclip to the mood of the writing
Red for sad
Green for happy
I would stand
Glued to the desk for minutes on end
Staring down into the bowl of paperclips
The brimming pool of colors
Searching for the perfect match

I once wrote a paper about the ocean
I fastened it with a small paperclip
Light blue
I handed in that paper like it was a badge of victory
The crowning achievement of my childhood years
A delighted grin shot across my face
As I peered up at my teacher
Big eyes open wide
Watching for a hint of silent approval
“Next time,” she said “use a staple”


Copyright 2002-2008 Student Publishing Program (SPP). Poetry and prose 2002-2008 by individual authors. Reprinted with permission. SPP developed and designed by Strong Bat Productions.