Tuesday, August 3, 2010


by Jay Kinney

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 man held his back
For on the faces around 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 in store.
And how to keep what he had earned
From the lazy, shiftless poor.

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

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

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

1 comment:

  1. This poem should call for soul searching for every one of us. What a lesson we can learn from this poem.