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The Cold Within

March 23, 2020


The poem below was recited in my EEO workshops and diversity presentations over 20 years ago.  It still applies today.

 

By Gordy Graham


Six human beings by happenstance

In black and bitter cold

Each one possed 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 fires

She noticed one was Black.

 

The next man looking cross the way

Saw one not of his church,

And could" t bring himself to give

The fire his stick of birch

 

The third one sat in tattooed 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 his 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 his sight

For all he saw in his stick of wool

Was a chance to spite the white.

 

And the last man of this forlorn group

Did naught except for gain

Giving only to those who gave

Was how he played the game.

 

The log held tight in death's still hands

Was proof of human sin.

They didn’t fie from the cold without.

They died from the cold within.

 

 

 

 



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