Poem: Ballad of the Plastic Shoelace Nubs

Danny from 2017: The correct name for those hard plastic bits on the ends of shoelaces that prevent them from unravelling is “aglets.”  If I’d been a true poet in 1999, I’d’ve known this and incorporated the term into a brain-melting rhyme.  (As it stands, I’m still fond of this thing, and it’s popular with my students.)


Upon my feet they sit and mock
Bob’s astute demeanor.
Above my shoe, below my sock,
They do his psyche beleaguer.

Hardened rods ’pon serpent cords,
They spangle in the glare.
Glitt’ring gems ’pon hide-shod feet
Be denuded to his stare.

His eyebrow twitches, sub’tly so,
His knuckles whiten minutely.
Without a sound he eases low,
His eyes flicker acutely.

Silence deaf’ning, shattered swift—
His voice hectors my ear.
“Sirrah,” he ventures, “kindly lift
Thy shoes, and bring them here.”

I watch him quiet, for a time,
Then inquire with a grin,
“Mine shoes, good sir? What lies thereby,
And interests you therein?”

“Don’t toy with me, my goodly man,”
Retorts he, oozing menace.
“My temper’s finite, losing span,
and wields a gun named ‘Dennis.’”

“I shall NOT provide you with compliance—
These nubs you’ll not purloin!”
My chance arrives, borne of defiance—
I kick him in the groin.

Bicuspids fly, a child cries,
The environs coat with gore.
Our inner rages verbalize—
Our duel worthy of lore.

A silence falls, much like my fist,
Which rings with mute complaint.
Bob lies dead— he can’t exist,
His bod’ly functions simply ain’t.

His final moments beyond pain,
Lost in chaotic hubbubs.
He’ll never live to lust again
My Plastic Shoelace Nubs!



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