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Poetic License: Cucaracha, burning bright

By Staff | May 25, 2016

Cucaracha, burning bright

In the tenements of night,

What primeval force or essence

Doomed you to dwell in dark putrescence?

From the basement of what mind

Did you escape to wander blind

In darkness filled with crumbs and stain

To flit through floors of Flit and pain

And find a brightness waiting there,

Brightness you could barely bear,

While two brothers captured you

In bottle filled with gum and glue?

Their quest for truth had just begun

To measure just how fast you’d run,

Then inside their tenement

They tried this bold experiment:

They’d lead your brethren thru a maze

Try to set them all ablaze

With wooden matchsticks each in turn

To see how quickly they would burn,

And when their bodies wouldn’t light

Lighter fluid would burn them right.

Crackle high or crackle low

Each unique in sound and glow.

But you would be their shining star

Kept in your own Gerber’s jar,

Dehydrated, barely alive

Your chance for glory at last arrived:

For seven seconds in the dark

Your body blazed like Joan of Arc

Uncaptured brethren seeing your light

Raced back to cracks in manic flight.

Your record burning would suffice,

End further need for sacrifice,

The two brothers now could turn

To study just how rats would burn.

Albert Schweitzer’s reverence

For all life would make no sense

For two brothers locked in fight

With roaches, rats and urban blight.

But let them take what they can find

To hunt for truth and peace of mind

Within the nightmare of the slums

To learn to bear whatever comes.

Cucaracha, burning bright

In the tenements of night,

You overcame your dark putrescence

To end your days in luminescence.