The Cold Within


Five humans trapped by coincidence

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 man held his tight.

For of the faces around the fire,

He noticed all were not alike.

The next man looking cross the way,

Saw no one of his church,

And couldn't bring himself to give

The fire his stick of birch.

The third one 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 wealth he had in store,

And how to keep what he had earned

From the lazy, shiftless, poor.

The last man of this forlorn group

Did nothing except for gain

Giving only to those who gave

Was how he played the game.

Their logs held tight in death's still hands

Was proof of human sin.

They didn't die from the cold outside

They died from the cold within .