After I got divorced

I spent time

Being angry and sad.

In between, I tried out pens.

Ball points.  Felt tips.


When I’d gone through

The ones I had at home

I went to the store.

Appearing then on the kitchen table

Were Bics in abundance.


They were blue ink, black ink,

Fine line, smooth grip.

Some had clickers, some had caps.

Some I twisted with a certain

Malicious satisfaction.


Once, I pulled three renegades from my purse.

First, a green ink ball point.  Too boring.

Next, a fountain pen. Too much potential to bleed.

The last was clear plastic

And I thought at least there’ll be no surprises

When the ink is gone.

It had bold red ink, bloody red, angry red.

It felt good in my grip.


I finally had my own checkbook

But I’d been taught that if you write

A check on Sunday with red ink

The bank won’t cash it.

And, having given up any notion of God,

Sunday was the day I paid bills.

I shoved the Bic into the discard drawer.


The search went on for about a year,

Through tears and hate-filled words

And a resolved sense of my Self.

When it was over, I

Felt a small trace of contentment

That at last the pen I held was the perfect one.


I don’t remember now

What kind it was, but I remember what all

Those pens had in common.

On every scrap of paper, and the edges of newspapers,

On the fronts of magazines and the backs of grocery lists

I practiced my name.


Deborah Lattizori is a writer and poet.  She lives in Belfast with her partner, two dogs and four cats.  She likes to type without using capitals.