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Skinny Indiana Boy (V2) Skinny Indiana Boy (V2)
by Michael Lee Johnson
2014-03-02 10:31:39
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Skinny Indiana Boy (V2)
(Poem in Exile, Vietnam War)

indie01_400With a heart once as big as Texas
or Alberta where he came from,

the draft resister tries to erase
the memory of his sordid past;

coming out of the Rockies,
down over the slate, out of self-imposed exile,

he leaves the northland shaking

his bandaged fists at the prairie sky.

He was robbed of his own conviction
by a war that ended, others forgot,
there was nothing left to die for, to wait for,
no more signs to carry in the dark -
only the chill of the northern winter left
to remind him of what he once felt,
once talked about.

The night looked long in his deep green eyes
robbing his faint life away.

The scream of loneliness has turned
his innards inside out to pity.

Non-religious accept for those
weakened moments, empty nights,
vacant lots, he leaves behind lightless
ten years of those silent wars
without refuge.

He no longer speaks with bullets bleeding
from his mouth; he no longer searches
the quiet whispers that echo in the pines.

Now he is at home near the land of Indiana lakes

where in his childhood he created the vision

for his now dead dream, content to say nothing

radical anymore-just glad to be alive.


(R 2013)


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