I do not blame the cat who torments mice
Nor scold the child who overturns his food.
I cradle both without e’en thinking twice
And deem this love a cause for gratitude.

But me—I mark my blameless days long gone.
I dare not dream of innocence regained
While daily nightmares dwell on tasks undone.
My frank facade I know is frankly feigned.

Why not expand the compass of my ruth
Beyond the years which men excuse by youth?
Is universal innocence a truth
That’s viable and worthy of acclaim?
To view all souls about me without blame
And in the end to lift my veil of shame.

— JJM = #15 in the I Ching Sonnet Project

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