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In addition to two chapbooks, Kevin J. McDaniel is the author of a book of poetry, RUBBERNECKING (Main Street Rag Publishing, 2019). His poems have appeared in the Anthology of Appalachian Writers, Artemis Journal, Broad River Review, Cloudbank, Coal City Review, Evening Street Review, Free State Review, Good Works Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Ocean State Review, The Cape Rock, The Offbeat, Third Wednesday, and others. He is the founder and an editor of SPECKLED TROUT REVIEWHe lives in Pulaski, Virginia.
Wearing a Necktie
Kevin J. McDaniel

For Dale “Ty” Phillips

Daddy didn’t teach me
how to tie a necktie. 
He wore t-shirts, 

distressed jeans, 
slogged in brown boots 
on loading docks,

pounded cold concrete  
inside warehouses. 
First year of college,

my roommate, in front
of a mirror, pushed up 
a silk triangle

to his neckline to show 
me how to put on
my black, brown tie 

with gray wolf pups 
peaceably sleeping in caves.
Daddy gifted it to me 

when I got my acceptance 
letter. At a campus banquet, 
other boys moved easily

in prismatic trouser suits. 
I sat, feeling an albatross hug 
my throat for the first time.