There’s a virus in the air, but I can’t see it.
People are dying around me, but I can’t save them.
There are spikes pierced in my back,
spasms, but I can’t touch them.
Heartbeats, hell pulsating, my back muscles,
I covet in my prayers.
I turn right to the left, in my bed, then hang still.
Nails impaled, I bleed hourly,
Jesus on that cross.
Now 73 years of age, my half-sister 92,
told me, “getting old isn’t for sissies.”
I didn’t believe her—
until the first mimic words
out of “Kipper” my new parakeet’s mouth,
sitting in his cage alone were
“Daddy, it’s not easy being green.”
Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada, Vietnam era. Today he is a poet in Itasca, DuPage County, Illinois, published in 2,013 small press magazines in 40 countries; 221 YouTube poetry videos. He has been nominated for 2 Pushcart Prize awards poetry 2015, 1 Best of the Net 2016, 2 Best of the Net 2017, 2 Best of the Net 2018.