By Michael Lee Johnson
Just because I am old
do not tumble me dry.
Toss me away with those unused
Wheat pennies, Buffalo nickels, and Mercury dimes
in those pickle jars in the basement.
Do not bleach my dark memories
Salvation Army my clothes
to the poor because I died.
Do not retire me leave me a factory pension
in dust to history alone.
Save my unfinished poems refuse to toss them
into the unpolished alleyways of exile rusty trash barrows
just outside my window, just because I am old.
Do not create more spare images, adverbs
or adjectives than you need to bury me with.
Do not stand over my grave, weep,
pouring a bottle of Old Crow
bourbon whiskey without asking permission
if it can go through your kidney’s first.
When under stone sod I shall rise and go out
in my soft slippers in cold rain
dread no danger, pick yellow daffodils,
learn to spit up echoes of words
bow fiddle me up a northern Spring storm.
Do you, bad heart, see in pine box of wood,
just because I got old.
Michael Lee Johnson lived in Canada for ten years during the Vietnam era and is a dual citizen of the United States and Canada. Today, he is a poet, freelance writer, amateur photographer, and small business owner in Itasca, Illinois. Johnson is published in more than 1062 new publications and his poems have appeared in 38 countries. He was nominated for 2 Pushcart Prize awards in 2015.