Weekly poem on Trump Presidency



Gimli's Lament

Tonight the warm Virginia air
wakes up the horses and ballet
dancers across the highway, and
a talk radio host reads quotes
from an actor who plays a dwarf
in the Hobbit movies. We know
who he is because the host begins each passage
saying, “This is the actor who plays
a dwarf in the Hobbit movies.”
The actor who plays a dwarf
in the Hobbit movies writes about
growing up in Tanzania, where he first
became concerned, really concerned
about the end of civilization, about jihad,
about contraception, and declining
birth rates. Twice as many Muslim babies
are born now than Christian.  
They are pushing out more martyrs,
he says. The actor’s real name is
never mentioned, but his role as the
long-handled axe-wielding dwarf
make him sound like a prophet
here in Virginia. The actor who plays
a dwarf in the Hobbit movies says
Tolkien was a Christian. Evangelical, even.
A cow outside lumbers outside my window.
The radio host says he’s concerned
about our European values that are
under attack, beyond our borders by little men
with long beards who hide in caves.


Daniel Nester’s most recent book is Shader: 99 Notes on Car Washes, Making Out in Church, Grief, and Other Unlearnable Subjects. His previous books include How to Be Inappropriate, God Save My Queen I and II, and The Incredible Sestina Anthology, which he edited. He teaches writing at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY.