Weekly Writing Challenge: Metaphor and Simile

I think the best way to use metaphor is in poetry.  Shakespeare did this in his sonnets and even made his tragic plays poetic.  I wrote this little poem while a graduate student at San Diego State University and later put it into my Master’s thesis.  It tells of a moment with my older daughter Kristen, when she was a little girl in my back yard.  Now she is grown, with her own family.  I wonder if she remembers.


I thought it was a blossom,

red against the gray branch.

I saw it move; the warbling

no louder than the voice of wind

became a tune.  It sang;

its beak like needles parting,

its face a scarlet mask–

a Chinese actor’s, horned

and dragon-like against the scales

of its green breast.  My daughter came

as I was watching; silent,

her head tipped upward,

eyes like blue cups

for filling.  We stood, my hand

upon her hair, and listened

to the high-pitched call

of the hummingbird

in the first bare boughs of spring.


Life is transient–as a child stays young, as a hummingbird hovers for a moment on a flower or an open hand.  A metaphor makes one thing become another.  A simile makes one thing like another.

You can read more of my poems on my website:




2 comments on “Weekly Writing Challenge: Metaphor and Simile

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