(In honor of Halloween and with apologies to Edgar Allan Poe and The Raven…)

Once upon a June night dreary, while I pondered,

weak and weary,

Over ESPN, teary, from an Orioles losing score —

Channel surfing, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,

As if someone gently rapping, rapping on my hardwood floor.

“’Tis my cat or child,” I thought, “tiptoeing on my hardwood floor.

Only this and nothing more.”


Ah, distinctly I remember it was three months ’til September,

And already we’d surrendered to the Yanks and Sox and more.

Eagerly I wished an ending to a season just beginning

Hopes continued ever thinning as the Mets won three of four –

When again I sensed a walking, something moving,

something stalking

“’Tis my dog or child sleepwalking, walking on my hardwood floor.

Only this and nothing more.”


And although to still the beating of my heart,

I kept repeating

“It’s my cat or child entreating,” my eye saw

’twas something more

Some late visitor retreating his way o’r my

hardwood floor.

Some intruder in the darkness crawling by my front porch door.


Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there

Wondering, fearing,

Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;

In my heart I knew he stood there in the darkness

of the June air

Then the lamp, the light, a cold stare

We exchanged — while on the floor

Sat the cockroach.



“It is hot outside,” he spake then, “this is heat

A bug could back in.”

And he made himself at home then sitting on my hardwood floor.

Quietly jointed them by some others, cockroach uncles, sisters, brothers,

Insect wings he bravely fluttered as he cooled off on my floor — and then asked me,

“What’s the score?”


Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,

(‘You think,’ thought I, ‘you’ll walk in and watch TV on my floor?

My mood is less than happy and a roach cocksure and yappy

Might just be the thing to help me

Cure my blues ’bout Baltimore.’)

To his insect face I said then, “Make yourself at home

In my den.”

While against my side I rolled a magazine I’d read before.

With antennae he implored me, from the floor he eyed and scored me.

“It’s just stuff,” said I “to read while you are sitting

on my floor.

Just rolled up paper, nothing more.”


Now … the cockroach, never flitting, still is sitting,still is sitting,

On the hardwood floor of my house as he did that night of yore.

But he’s flatter than a table, and no longer is he able

To scoot about as playful as he did so much before.

And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon’s that is dreaming,

cause the blow I dealt had meaning — He will bug me