I wrote this poem years ago to help the students at my school understand the concept of metaphor. The boys at my school all wear plaid neckties. I lost track of the poem, then found it this week in a folder I wasn’t using. I circulated it among the ELA (English Language Arts) teachers, and one teacher said I should park it where it can be seen.
Hakeem’s tie is a snake around his neck.
Sleeping soundly, it just hangs down.
The plaid pattern means it’s a diamondback –
A diamondback rattlesnake that doesn’t hiss or frown.
It just hangs down,
Looped around his neck,
Wherever Hakeem goes, all over town.
It’s curled up in a knot –
It’s what Hakeem’s got –
A droopy diamondback
From the tie store’s rack.
– Bruce Ballard
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