A Christmas Carol

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How soft the sound of tears, how loud the laugh—
How soon the scab of sin becomes a grudge,
and then with knock, nail, noise makes me a scrooge.
To freeze the soul, not fly away like a leaf.
To never see the world— not hurt, but aloof.
Not one of them. Closed eyes must work, not drag!
The pain inside concealed by pride, a drug.
No help for those begging for food, a loaf. . .
But when I see the world outside, I pause.
How cold the heart that I have bought, oh how lost
to love and kindliness— awake to stress!
I look for love inside me, not a trace,
for I have given all to money-lust.
Yet you have come to me, and I ask why?

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