Dear Mr. President

It has come to my attention
during a night of uneasy dreams
that a Cerulean warbler died
and I want to know what plans you have
to replace it.
From a reliable source
I have heard about a family of panthers
being evicted
to make room for apartments.
Can you arrange to relocate them?
A ponderosa pine was cut down
in my state; it was old
and nobody came to its aid.
If you come here to visit, I will show you
the space it left behind.
When the trees disappear
I feel exposed, which brings me to my next point:
I have begun to wear armour
each time I leave the house
to protect me from offers
of goods I can’t afford. Then, when I go back
inside, the doorbell
keeps ringing and missionaries show me
my soul in a mirror, tarnished they say,
in need of an overhaul.
Can you ask them to stop it?
I’ve been nervous of late
seeing you on television
because of the obsessive way
you stare at every question
as if it were a terrorist
come out of hiding. You seem to enjoy
the national anthem, but my knees
hurt when I stand up
and I can’t afford insurance
to have them treated.
I’m writing this in a chair.
I’m using recycled paper.
I’m all alone here
and I’m not moving.

David Chorlton was born in Austria, grew up in Manchester, England, and lived in Vienna before moving to Phoenix in 1978. The Bitter Oleander Press published Shatter the Bell in my Ear, translations of poems by Austrian poet Christine Lavant. Reading T. S. Eliot to a Bird, is from Hoot ‘n Waddle, in Phoenix. Read other articles by David.