Giant Cockroaches

by Mignon Ledgard
The Writer's Block
First Place, December 2010
Judged by Paul Lisicky


I still cry dead leaves
yet leave open one day of the week
for those who drop by unannounced.

Sweepers brush the streets
all night long. I close my eyes,
let them stroke my hair
while sleep filters through coils
of Paradise boxspring and mattress.

The next one will be
a hammock under a rubber tree
with shiny green ant-boats
that float me in waterdreams.

Oh the water—hold me in cold Lima.
Oregano tongue. Quivers.

Then come back tomorrow
just don’t forget your suede jacket
on my leather sofa.

You do not believe in shamans
but witchcraft casts its veil around
your bed in the Amazon.

You fall into the fog of Lima,
this rising cement city against
mosquito heaven, black lizards,
overgrown egrets with freshwater
shrimp in their beak.

You wake
and forget each night’s fear—

giant roaches gone, it is always fun
to hear the conquest
of paranoia, one night at a time.
It reminds me of how I get through
each wild and boisterous day.


A musical mind at work. Vivid language, unexpected turns, the manmade colliding with the natural. A beautiful poem. ---Paul Lisicky

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