The Cold Within

Six humans trapped by happenstance,
In bleak 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 back,
For of the faces round the fire,
He noticed one was black.

The next man looking across the way,
Saw one not 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 the wealth he had is 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.

The last man of this forlorn group
Did naught except for gain.
Giving only to those who gave
Was how he played the game.

Their logs held tight in death's still hand,
Was proof of human sin.
They didn't die from the cold without,
They died from the cold within.

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