The Eraser

by The Cowl Editor on November 16, 2017


Large eraser with the words "For Big Mistakes" printed on it
Photo courtesy of

by Jessica Polanco ’20


Sharp Edges and Curves

Without permission I am born and carved into all shapes and sizes. Cylinders, weird rectangles, and other dimensions I did not sign up for. They ink my skin with colors I hate. White, purple, and black. I wish they knew these things, I wish they knew what I’d grown to hate. Maybe they wouldn’t name me the way they did, or classify me in groups I would grow not to belong to. Most importantly, maybe they’d know I did not want to be stuck to an ugly black lead pencil, but rather an independent large pink eraser with the words stamped on my forehead: FOR BIG MISTAKES.

Don’t Forget to Erase That!

Attrition isn’t my thing, but it kind of has to be. When people make mistakes, I am forced to make it disappear. Without any good intentions, they harshly rub my body against their problems that could cost them any reliable positions in their lives. Sweat begins to break out, my smile spreads from edge to edge expressing my fright. I am not an inch of a cheap eraser. I’m big, fat, and tall. Because of this I will live for a while. Fixing people’s problems, I will be a reliable source for them for a long time. Tribulations with mistakes and paper, I am close to the reminder that all things have to come to an end. One day I will be replaced by another one. Maybe smaller, or skinnier, or more reliable for the trials to come.

They’re Gone and I’ve Dissolved

I was only a legend when I was alive. My ashes disappeared on blue rugs in offices and dorm rooms my purpose will no longer serve. Exams I will never be invited to again. Stepped all over, getting stuck under shoes of those I’ve assisted. I hope next time around I am made smaller, tinnier. Although no one will remember my loyalty to erasing their errors and I will be carelessly replaced, I am grateful to have been able to make a difference to their story. I cross my fingers, and hope that next time, they think twice before acting. Maybe I will remain unhurt. Enfeebling.