Piecemeal summer dies.
The spread of long winter blanket again.
For ten years I have lived in exile,
Locked in this rickety cabin, shoulder
Pushed up against the open Alberta sky.
If I were young again I’d sing of the coolness of high
Mountain snow flowers, the sprinkle of night glow-blue
I would dream & stretch slim fingers into the distant nowhere,
Yawn slowly over the endless prairie miles.
Prairie & grassland where in summer silence grows
& spreads eagle wings out like warm honey.
If I were young again I’d eat pine cones, food of birds,
Share meals with wild animals; I’d have as much dessert as wanted,
Reach out into blue sky & lick the clouds off my fingers.
But I’m not young anymore & my thoughts torment,
Are raw & overworked, sharpened misery from torture
Of war & childhood.
For ten years now I have lived locked in this unstable cabin,
Inside the rush of summer winds,
Outside the air beaten dim with snow.
Michael Lee Johnson, Chicago, USA