It made sense to watch him grow;
the foolish things he did to girls,
the endless hours he filled their
bedrooms with delight-I swear
he was an Indiana boy.
He was a whisper of dreams & words.
The pines of Alberta fanned his brain, the
intensity increased the blaze of conviction.
The voices of many personalities
formed in his larynx over the early Indiana years.
Names, ideas, beliefs, & images gathered in a garden
of imagination & sand merged, bred & spread Northward
outward like eagle wings.
It was a cancer without a cure or antibiotic.
The wind had stopped prayer when he was born
& he had felt his own creation with his own breath.
More than new desires or old desires, or old war memories of the past,
this boy was a proclamation of potential rejected by his peers.
But then a war, the Vietnam curse,
a conflict that ripped the internals of a nation/guts wide opened
by opinion & past dreams then men died.
Blue north wind now blows icicles through his hair,
& he works against the wings of the red/white-& blue-eagle-
while blood torn stars blend in his blue eyes
the border of two dissonant countries divide
& another night passes to sleep in exile.
Michael Lee Johnson, Chicago, USA