Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal

Poem From My Grave

Michael Lee Johnson

Don't bring the rosary beads
it's too damn late for doing repetitions.
Eucharist, I can handle the crackers and wine;
I love the Lord just like you.
Catholicism circles itself with rituals--
ground hogs and squirrels dancing with rosary beads,
naked in the sun and the night, eating the pearls
and feeling comfortable about it.
Rituals and rosary beads are indigestible
even the butterflies go coughing in the farmer's cornfields..
Cardinal George, Chicago, would choke on the damn things;
some of his priest would have thought it a gay orgasm or piece
remote found in scripture from Sodam & Gamora.
But my bones in ginger dust lie near a farm in DeKalb, Illinois
where sunset meshes corn with a yellow gold glow like rich teeth.
My tent is with friends there we said prayers privately like silent
moonlight.  Farmers touch the face of God each morning after just
one cup of  Folgers coffee Columbian blend,
or pancakes made with water and batter, sparse on the sugar.
Sometimes I would urinate on the yellow edge of flowers,
near the tent, late at night, before the hayride, speak
to the earth and birds like gods.
Never did I pull the rosary beads from my pocket.
It's too late, damn it, for rosary beads and repetitions.


Michael Lee Johnson lives in Itasca, Illinois, after spending 10 years in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada during the Vietnam War era. He is a freelance writer, and poet. Michael is a member of Poets & Writers, Inc and Directory of American Poets & Fictions Writers. He is a member of The Illinois Authors Directory. Illinois Center for the Book. He is the author of: The Lost American: From Exile to Freedom.

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© Michael Lee Johnson

Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal ISSN 1554-8449, Copyright © 2004-2012