Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era. Today he is a poet, freelance writer, photographer, and small business owner in Itasca, Illinois, who has been published in more than 750 small press magazines in twenty-five countries, he edits seven poetry sites. Michael has released The Lost American: From Exile to Freedom (136 page book), several chapbooks Of his poetry, including From Which Place the Morning Rises and Challenge of Night and Day, and Chicago Poems. He also has over 56 poetry videos on YouTube.
If I Were Young Again
Piecemeal summer dies:
long winter spreads its blanket again.
For ten years I have lived in exile,
locked in this rickety cabin, shoulders
jostled up against open Alberta sky.
If I were young again, I’d sing of coolness of high
mountain snow flowers, sprinkle of night glow-blue meadows;
I would dream and stretch slim fingers into distant nowhere,
yawn slowly over endless prairie miles.
The grassland is where in summer silence grows;
in evening eagles spread their wings
dripping feathers like warm honey.
If I were young again, I’d eat pine cones, food of birds,
share meals with wild wolves;
I’d have as much dessert as I wanted,
reach out into blue sky, lick the clouds off my fingertips.
But I’m not young anymore and my thoughts tormented
are raw, overworked, sharpened with misery
from torture of war and childhood.
For ten years now I’ve lived locked in this unstable cabin,
inside rush of summer winds,
outside air beaten dim with snow.