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 reckon 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 I excuse with 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