| Filed under

Contributor: Michael Lee Johnson

- -
Old Irving Park,
Chicago neighborhood
Jasper lives in a garret
no bigger than a single, bed.
Jasper, 69, smokes
Lucky Strike non-filtered cigarettes.
He dips Oreo cookies in skim milk.
Six months ago
the state revoked
his driver’s license-
between the onset
of macular degeneration,
gas at $4.65 a gallon,
and late stage emphysema,
life for Jasper has stalled out
in the middle lane
like his middle month
social security check, it is gone.
There is nothing academic about Jasper’s life.
Today the mailbox journey is down
the spiraling stairwell, midway,
he leans against the wall.
Deep breathes from his oxygen tank.
Life is annoying with plastic tubes up his nose.
Relief, back in the attic, without the tank,
the Chicago Cubs are playing on the radio.

Enjoyment at last, Jasper leans back in his La-Z-Boy recliner.
He reaches for a new pack of Lucky Strike cigarettes.
Jasper grabs a cool Budweiser beer from his mini-fridge.

- - -
MICHAEL LEE JOHNSON lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era: now known as the Itasca, IL poet. Today he is a poet, freelance writer, photographer who experiments with poetography (blending poetry with photography), and small business owner in Itasca, Illinois, who has been published in more than 750 small press magazines in 26 countries, he edits 7 poetry sites. Michael is the author of The Lost American: From Exile to Freedom (136 pages book), several chapbooks of poetry, including From Which Place the Morning Rises and Challenge of Night and Day, and Chicago Poems. He also has over 69 poetry videos on YouTube.


Powered by Blogger.