The Green Pen

The green pen stands in the middle of the jar with all the other pens, painfully aware that he is different.

The black pens stare seriously at the wall. They wait for their elegant ink to be used for the most important papers.  Health documents. Wills. Professional disclosures. They stand regal and dressed in gold. They don’t need to be used much because they are in essence, to the point. They are by far the very best.

The blue pens are slightly more dull and wear loose white collars with blue lines around the front. These are the efficient pens. They are never temperamental with crying ink stains, nor do they refuse to work on principle.  Just the other day one said to the other, “Old Black Pen is bleeding again.” The other pen nodded before shaking his head; this was to be expected. Often the blue pens are found shoved in purses, clipped to restaurant bills, or passed from business to customer without a second thought. They remain the cheapest most hard working pens around.

The green pen however, is different. What does one do with green ink? Certainly it’s not professional enough to be used by anybody with important documents. Clearly it’s not bold enough to be seen by people without glasses. Obviously it’s not dark enough to evoke poetic words of wisdom. The green pen stands alone.  For although he is what his mother, the ink pad (now horribly out of date) once called “special”, he is also a prized possession.

With his startling glare to paper, he is not easily chosen by those that use the pen jar. Instead, he is treasured because he is indeed the only pen that one can be certain is still there. In a pinch, he is reliable and because of this there is no doubt in his security. One can’t always write with the best of ink, but as long as it’s available, there is a steady line of hope.


For all future stories involving an object of your choice, please send your photograph of the object to

I will publish your photo and name.

9 thoughts on “The Green Pen

  1. I love the way you ground the green pen in our need for the certainty that something will always be available. You have a gift for anthropomorphizing inanimate objects and bringing a vivid, thought-provoking life to the mundane.

  2. Like the others who have commented, I am impressed by this piece written about something that we usually take for granted. But I think my favorite part is how, though it is very different from all the others, the green pen is full of hope as well as security.

  3. “his mother, the ink pad (now horribly out of date)” … Nice. Personification. How the high schoolers in my classes used to think of their parents and me!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s