FNS: Nikki Purrs from Michael Lee Johnson

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Every Friday night we feature a short story, essay, personal narrative,
poem, spoken word, or short film for your enjoyment.

Helen Presents: a poem from Michael Lee Johnson


Nikki Purrs

Soft nursing
5 solid minutes
of purr-
paws paddling
like a kayak competitor
against ripples of my
67 year old river rib cage-
I feel like a nursing home
mother, little to give,
inadequate assistant,
I’m male no tit milk to give.
Sometimes I feel afloat with dreams.
Nikki is a little black skunk,
kitten, suckles me for milk,
or affection?
No, she is (an) 18 years old cat.
I’m her substitute mother,
bubbling in a flower bed of love,
I give back affection, returns
freely unlike a money exchange.
Done, I go to the kitchen, get out
Fancy Feast: gourmet salmon, shrimp,
chopped grill, marinated morsels.
A new day work begins.


Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era: now known as the Illinois poet, from Itasca, IL. Today he is a poet, freelance writer, photographer who experiments with poetography (blending poetry with photography), and a small business owner in Itasca, Illinois who has been published in more than 875 small press magazines in 27 countries. He edits 9 poetry sites. Michael is the author of The Lost American: From Exile to Freedom and several chapbooks of poetry including From Which Place the Morning Rises, Challenge of Night and Day, and Chicago Poems. He also has over 71 poetry videos on YouTube.

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