You don’t realise you’re infectious,
that’s the key – then you think
there’s just a single threat,
but everything goes viral,
everything. We’re all in this together.
One day it dawns, I’m a walking talking
superspreader! A danger to myself
and all I meet. I need to wear a mask,
hide myself away in quarantine.
Think of all the terrible conditions
I could pass on…
Fear, for one: anxiety, the scourge
of modern life. Alcohol, TV
and tranquillisers are no defence
against an enemy that lodges
like a cancer in our bones.
Comparison, a tiny germ that brings
all sorts of ills: heads it’s arrogance
tails it’s envy, someone comes off worst
whichever way. Secondary infections
– judgement, discrimination –
follow like pneumonia.
Antagonism, taking sides: fosters
hate and anger, temperature and blood
pressure rise… small-mindedness
distorts the vision… feverish desire
possesses us – it’s a plague
– the beginningless pandemic.
What am I? A vector, sick
with superbugs like these,
or can I help to make the herd
immune? I need to see our deep
intrinsic sameness, our equalness
of heart, build up a healthy confidence
in this – that’s my antibodies,
the only way to keep the world safe.