I have a deep, irrational fear of cockroaches. They belong the Order of Insects called ‘Blattodea’ – a name that proved prophetic for one particular cockroach that I encountered this week on my nature solo. His apparent determination to get ‘up close and personal’ with me ended badly for him. The revulsion I felt towards this small creature unsettled me, and left me with many questions.

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Mountain cockroach
Aptera fusca
Scuttles with intent towards me
Across the lawn
On which I lie –
Suddenly it prepares to fly.

Primal terror
(out of proportion
to its tiny size) controls me.
Off with my shoe –
I’m scared of you!
Blatt, blatt, blatt! Oh dear – it’s over.

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