And next year’s words await another voice,
the poet says in “Little Gidding,”
because the others make a different choice,
and think you’re stupid or you’re kidding.
The fact that you’ve survived does not persuade
the people who don’t trust what you believe
to be the “I’m not kidding truth” makes you dismayed,
and not just disagree with them, but grieve.
The pandemic makes them panic while they pay
attention to opinions that aren’t worth
the time it takes to hear them, and well may
infect their own survival with its dearth.