Tuned Out

It lays there
Fat and complacent in front of the television,
Knowing that running is hopeless.
Instead, it squints its eyes
And growls softly,
Issuing forth and undignified,
Uncharacteristically loud
Squawking noise as
I draw a step nearer.

Emaciated Ethiopian children flicker
For an instant
Before the television channel changes

My shadow lengthens.
I see that I have blocked its sun ray
Creeping in through the living room window.

Politicians argue loudly from the screen
Over policies to curb industrial smog
That darkens our city streets.

Chuckling softly, I wonder to myself:
“Where is the sleek feline grace of yesteryear?
Where is the notorious cat-like skittishness?”
A full twenty pounds of house-bred eunuch
Rolls over on its back
For me to scratch its belly,
Looking more like a plush stuffed animal
Than anything else.

The toy of a Bosnian child falls from
A U.N. supply truck as people struggle
To find purchase on the flatbed to freedom.

I sit back in my recliner.
The glow from the T.V. has a soothing quality,
But the noise is disturbing.
I press the mute button
With a grunt of satisfaction.
“There, that’s better.”