We endured a trial, weighed in the balance,
To assay, to assess, who we are,
Which neither passed us nor failed us
But still found us wanting;
Our weakness exposed and our values
Surrendered, when judgment pressed in
Then dissent was destroyed:
Collateral damage from purity’s claims,
Simplicity’s verdict of undue distortion,
And the vice, the pretence, of protection,
All draining our strength and our goodness,
As ‘to try’ turned to persecute – and to lose.
Sealed in ourselves, our bubbles, our skulls,
Cut off in our cells, we mistrusted:
Misplayed the prisoner’s dilemma
Then lost our appeal, while arguing
Who was to blame; as our narrative
(Whose every strand ran clear and true)
Was twisted to the ends of justice,
That saw the outcome settled, until
Next assayed, or new cause intervenes;
But left a question unresolved,
Neither clearer now nor nearer to truth,
So it rises and presses and grows:
Are we pristine and inviolate?
Or free to adapt?
The question that allows us
To try, to essay;
Once. And again. And always.