I Cannot Praise This Mutilated World*

B. Lorraine Smith
1 min readApr 8, 2017

They tell us to praise the mutilated world
— the poet, the priest —
To conjure cherished memories
And hold the loved ones close.

But they offer no instructions
For how to hold the truth that lies
So near the surface of what’s right
For those who are left.

No stenciled dance steps on the floor
No numbered sections signaling where to smear
Red paint before it drips from the brush
Or whether whitewash is better for this market.

There is no Google map to Immanuel’s house,
En route from tarnation,
No zip-up pocket to tuck away the turmoil
On the subway ride home.

There is only a collective, curdled cry
Retweeted into polarized oblivion,
Poisoning the possibility of praise
For anything other than mutilation.


(*This is a phrase from a poem that I was very affected by,
Try To Praise The Mutilated World, by Adam Zagajewski)

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B. Lorraine Smith

Former sustainability consultant replacing ESG with reality-based insights about corporate purpose and impact. https://www.blorrainesmith.com/