About a Cockroach
A cockroach is climbing up the wall
into the kitchen after a night of thunder.
You call me in to see and I explain
that it would be sad to leave it there:
it might fall into the soup;
We must take care
that no-one eats it.
You pick it up in a handi towel
and carry it outside,
to hide it in the wood pile.
I see then that a kind of faith prevails:
your gentleness is moulded still by words
who has squashed small ants,
lied to your teacher and snapped at yourmother
That is how things are,
I am your father
and we are kind to cockroaches.
By Janet Keen
An adaptation of another nz poet's famous poem.