It was a good dinner.
Afterwards we settled back
over coffee, and one said:
‘I sometimes think ETs
must have discovered us
by now – don't you?’
How that triggered my inner
cringing fear. Feeling a little sick
I kept so quiet, the dead
might have been more voluble. Jeez!
How could I say I knew this,
and very personally too?
I have been called a sinner
full of wicked lies, my soul black.
And worse than that: raving mad.
After enough reactions like these,
you learn the ways to pass
for normal – never mind what’s true.
A little green man? No, taller and thinner.
Limbless, featureless, my friend Kondark
resembled a floating column; had
a good brain though. But please,
where do you find a physicist who’d choose
to telepathise with an alien. Like who?
So he went back home, no-one a winner.
He’d wanted to help us, but needed to talk
with a fellow-scientist. That sort of head,
on earth, does not tend to telepathise
with alien visitors – can’t encompass
that reality, even though it’s not new.
And who could I have told? The stigma
is still too strong. They remain in the dark
the rationalists (so-called) – still led
by terror of the unknown. They’d seize
me and shut me up in the nut-house.…
(Yes I kid you, of course; you know I do.)
Written in response to Poets United's Midweek Motif: Social Stigma.