Whittling | Teen Ink


May 17, 2021
By PaintedPath BRONZE, Fort Wayne, Indiana
PaintedPath BRONZE, Fort Wayne, Indiana
3 articles 0 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Go forward in life with a twinkle in your eye and a smile on your face, but with great and strong purpose in your heart" Gordon B. Hinckley

Wisps of dust

Curl and unfurl in musky air.

They arrived on scene,

And the dust coated everything.

They arrived too late on scene,

A figure of too-smooth wood,

Sandpaper in her needle-thin fingers,

For the dust had always had always covered everything.

5 years ago


lost on a whim

And wandering through a twisted reality-

Had taken the sandpaper in her imperfect hands.

She had seen the

Perfect, porcelain people

With their delicate,

Smooth china.

Perfect, but porcelain. 

And she?
She was crafted of wood.

Rotten, horrible wood.

She’d often ask herself,

Why wood? 

Why would anyone

Craft her of hideous, knotty



Splintery wood?

She didn’t know.

Yet she had taken,

The sandpaper in her imperfect hands

Knowing, feeling that if she could peel away 

Fractions of herself

She could feel whole again.

She tried to rub away the knots,

The splinters

And the rot.

And she began to whittle herself away.

Nobody noticed the ever slight-slim 

And the fractions that were just

Ever so different-

But still, even as nights

Faded on

The wood grain

Like her growing pain

Would never fade away.

So she whittled

Acquiring new knife

She whittled 

And whittled

Sandpaper and knife

She whittled 

Further away

Hoping just maybe 

One spectacular day

She could see that perfect

Someone she was going to be. 

Soon her dust coated 

Everything in plain sight

And in sprinkles of daily life

She began to complain about her growing plight

Slivers of jokes

Whispers of help

Her voice was too quiet

To reach out-

Her dust coated

Thinning limbs

Wet lashes

And everything she did.

Her once oak-ish colors

Began to fade away

And become mute

And her dust coated everything

She thought she once loved.

As the problem grew

Her fear grew too

And she knew 

This was not a not a normal thing 

To do.

But still she shrank

As she desperately

Whittled herself away.

Like fragile porcelain

She began to break

Her parts began to fail

And she quivered into her fall.


Friends and family

Had to carry

The one who could no longer

Carry her own aching self.


She whittled away.

Her legs, and arms

Were thin like sticks

No longer a strong structure

Like bone

But rather thin


Like a crippling disease.

One day her arm snapped

As she whittled it away

Hope suddenly fluttered from reach

As she creaked

And groaned,


With her burden.

She was so fragile

And so weak

She found she had no strength

To ever again speak.

She was so fragile

And so weak…

She was so needy

And clingy

Perhaps her friends grew tired of her leaning.


What great burden was she.

She took knife and paper,

In smooth, broken hands

And more determined

Than ever before,

Whittled herself away.

They arrived on scene;

The dust coated everything.

They arrived far too late,

On scene,

For she had, begun,

Oh, so long, ago

To whittle herself away. 

They found her, a figure of too-smooth wood

Sandpaper in her needle-thin fingers

To find dust covering everything.

They found her in dust,

A knife

Jammed deep in her chest

And jerked upwards

Crudely so

Was a little wooden heart

Which she had tried to whittle away.

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