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There is bitter cold
At the borders of the city
Wizened women and men
And children below their teens
Lie the frozen nights
On bare tarmac,
Surviving by the fire in their hearts,
And the justice of their cause.
A glow of truth from their being
Warms the air and shames the
Winter of crude impertinence,
Even as their human bodies may
Succumb to the December hell.
Carrying the nursing warmth
Of the soil in their bones,
India’s farmers outface the urban
Cold and show how the real freeze
Lies in the swollen skull of authority
Whose hollow cruelty may be stern
Without human content, but whose
Pride of office screams for pity.
This is truly a new beauty born
That gathers histories
Of courage and faith
In the sounding of the people’s horn
That may never be stilled
Either by Nature’s extremes
Or the flimsy robes worn
By Pharaohs of the day.
Yet again, the ploughshare shows the way.