By Michael Lee Johnson
Old men walk funny with shadows and time eating at their heels.
Pediatric walkers, prostate exams, bend over, then most die.
They grow poor, leave their grocery list at home,
forget their social security checks bank account numbers,
dwell on whether they wear dentures, uppers or lowers;
did they put their underwear on?
They can’t remember where they put down their glasses.
Did they drop them on memory lane U.S. Route 66?
Was it watermelon wine or drive in movies they forgot their virginity in?
Hammered late evenings alone with bottled up Mogen David wine madness
mixed with diet 7-Up; all moving parts squeak and crack in unison.
At night, they scream in silent dreams no one else hears,
they are flapping jaws, they are sexual exchange with monarch butterfly wings.
Old men walk funny to the barbershop with gray hair, no hair;
sagging pants to physical therapy.
They pray for sunflowers above their graves and
a plot that bears their name with a poem.
They purchase their burial plots, collect pennies in a jar for years,
beggar's price for a deceased wife.
Proverb: in this end, everything that was long at one time is now passive,
or cut short. Ignore us old moonshiners, or poets that walk funny,
they aren't hurting anyone anymore.
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 has been published in more than 1062 new publications and his poems have appeared in 38 countries. He was nominated for 2 Pushcart Prize awards poetry in 2015.