We Pity Them by George Szirtes

I am not a silent poet

We are
concerned, of course,
mortified even, but
we wouldn’t want them near us as
things stand.

They are
unsocialised.
Their wishes and desires
are wrong. They’re a potential
danger.

Let them
talk to the right
professionals. Let them
talk through their unfitness for us,
for life.

Once they
are no longer
themselves we will love them
the way we consider they should
be loved.

Because
we can’t love them
the way they are let them
talk through how they might be more what
we love.

We want
them to be safe
and happy the way we
want them to be safe and happy.
Like that.

Surely
with a little
adjustment they would be
perfectly useful citizens,
not dead.

Let them
talk and be like
us by talking the way
we talk about ourselves to each
other.

We feel
pity for them.
That is noble of us.
It is to…

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