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

  • December 2020 Winners

    • First Place

      Avaricious
      by Judy Kaber
      The Waters

      Second Place

      To James Bulger, aged 2, murdered February 1993
      by two boys aged 10 in Liverpool, England
      by Christopher T. George
      Babilu

      Third Place

      Dr. Pachango’s Mango
      by Jim Fowler
      Babliu

  • November 2020 Winners

    • First Place

      Notorious RBG
      by Laurie Byro
      Babilu

      Second Place

      To My Old Age
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Waters

      Third Place

      Beggar’s Lice
      by Ken Ashworth
      The Writer's Block