Innocence Lost

Surely no rape was ever more darkly planned
than time’s assault on innocence
for the ravaged child cannot reclaim
the right to youthful impudence

Too swiftly time will steal away
the laughter born of youth
and ashen the rose on the joy flushed cheek
while shading the face of truth

Too soon the wide unblinking eyes
will squint and look askance
nevermore to capture the world
with a pure unbiased glance

The wrinkled brow, the painful wounds,
the prejudice, and fear
are the lasting scars of growing up
…proof positive of the years