Poem: Cockroach

Dedicated to the water bug I was scared of in my bathroom, the roach found in my kitchen (may you rest in peace), and the children at Hester’s Creative School in Greensboro, North Carolina.

In the corner of a room sits a young boy

Claiming to be sweating from his eyes

In order to avoid the humiliation of being called more misnomers

He believes apply to him.

Crappy pseudonyms from his peers apparently exemplify

The meaning of his life’s storybook.

Because of a different disposition his peers find displeasing,

He sweats especially to the name “cockroach.”

Oh, yes.

They can be quite noisome.

In fact,

What purpose could they serve other than to creep

In the deathly hallows of faulty garages and unruly bathrooms?

Isn’t that why they’re to be stomped on?!

Sure, that’s a paraphrase of what those kids say.


I haven’t seen many people willingly kill a cockroach

With their feet.

The size of the crunch is too unbearable.

People would rather be cowards and use disinfectant,

Or other forms of spray.

They are the filthy ones.

Not you, dear boy.

They fear you, dear cockroach.

Your inner martial arts is much larger

Than what this world offers.

Why settle for being a grasshopper?

You have the power to prey in bathtubs

Long enough to make pansies rather shower at the gym.

As the Robin Hood of all insects

Those adolescent monsters could have picked for you,

You take left over food from the privileged homo sapien

To feed the souls of your poor, roach brothers and sisters.

You can survive longer than any earthly species

With its head cut off.

Obviously, you know not to sink low into the shallow waters

Of a shattered mind when you lose your head.

You’re gonna die with grace.

So why not live with it?

With more purpose inside of you,

The classmates you have are kiddie pools,

Contrasting from the oceanic depths of what your bug-like instincts

Must give to this dying society we call home.

Along with the facilities we must endure within

That consist of the other unflattering names that make you cry.

Wipe those salty dew drops,

Get up from the sulky storm you’re in,

And dominate that room, fellow cockroach.


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