Friday, January 04, 2013

The Cold Within


Six humans trapped by happenstance in black and bitter cold.
Each one possessed a stick of wood (or so the story’s told).

Their dying fire, in need of logs, the first woman held hers back,
For on the faces around the fire, she noticed one was black.

The second, looking across the way, saw one not of his church,
And couldn’t bring himself to give the fire his stick of birch.

The poor man sat in tattered clothes, he gave his coat a hitch.
Why should his log be put to use to warm the idle rich?

The rich man just sat back and thought of the wealth he had in store
And how to keep what he had earned from the lazy, shiftless poor.

The black man’s face bespoke revenge as the fire passed from his sight,
For all he saw in his stick of wood was a chance to spite the white.

And the last of this forlorn group did not accept for gain:
Giving only to those who gave was how he played the game.

The logs held tight in deaths’ still cold hands was proof of human sin.
They didn’t die from the cold without, They died from the cold within.


This poem was written in the 1920’s by James Patrick Kinney

1 comment:

Angie J said...

So true! Thank you for sharing this.