From infant days I learned that self-control
Was all that could restrain my crude desires.
I dared not think the adults all were liars;
Instead, I’ve borne the price, a lifelong toll.

One  day, I learned to draw my consolation
From a ruse, a planted seed of pride.
Which grew, of course, devouring my inside,
Consigning my dear soul to isolation.

My fiction of superior moral worth
Seems painless, but its dead weight stifles me,
A blanket that restrains my primal shout.
Might I recall those instincts of my birth
While shame enshrines my sin in secrecy?
To thrive, to reclaim life I must break out.

— Josh Mitteldorf
#10 from the I Ching Sonnet Project


Deviant Art by Anne Wipf

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