They called it the stolen year,
the year we spent inside our houses
hiding from our neighbours.
‘They could be sick!
They could be sick!’
Was the refrain from next door,
and from Number 10.
Yet, at the end
of that very awful year
nothing at all had changed.
The sickness lingered,
our neighbours stayed dumb.
That terrible stolen year
bore no fruit at all.

Time stolen cured nothing,
but closing our distance
would cure even less.
Time must be given,
stealing it leaves cracks
in the purpose of its theft.

Giving our time will not
restore our year or our dead.
But it may, just may,
restore our years to come.

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