Ghazal, a la Cucaracha

This entry is part 19 of 55 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Spring 2012

Cooler and more overcast today; but in the parking lot at work,
a Blue Bunny ice cream truck circles, playing “La Cucaracha“—

Which makes me think of my friend Pinky, whose favorite way of saying
someone’s acting nutty is: Ay! she has a case of the cucarachas.

We know of course about cockroaches: in other places they go by
palmetto bug, croton bug, waterbug— all the same, a cucaracha.

An ant might walk with exquisite slowness; but have you ever
had to duck in fear of an armor-plated, dive-bomber cucaracha?

Fun facts: a cockroach can go without water for two weeks, without food
for a month. Squished, their slime might resemble green tea matcha.

And how about this: some female cockroaches only mate once and stay
pregnant for life
! That would definitely make me crazy, you betcha.

When I read this: Immature American cockroaches look like wingless adults
for a while it seemed we were no longer just referring to las cucarachas.

In my childhood home we kept potatoes and other dark-loving tubers beside
the rice bin under the sink, until a dark brown army swarmed over the kabocha.

It may have been the year I learned the Mexican Hat Dance for Field Day at school,
felt silly twirling a skirt with cellophane ruffles to the refrain of “La Cucaracha.”

 

In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

Series Navigation← Dear animal of my deepest need, you want to lingerHeartache Ghazal →

1 Comment


  1. AIEE, CARAMBA!

    Aiee…chihuaha! A lot of cucaracha!
    And pregnant for all its vida? Betcha
    That will be an overpopulation cha-cha,
    and would not even include a borracha,
    who is too drunk to say: No! or Gotcha!

    —Alberto Casuga y Buenaventura
    04-18-12

    Had fun reading this aloud, amiga!
    Brava, brava, Luisa! Poeta unica!

    Reply

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