Mister, It’s Cold Outside
By Thomas E. Kittrell
The wind was howling and the day was bitterly cold
And while making my hospital security rounds,
Over my handheld radio I heard the summons
To report to the ER waiting room.
There’s a street person in here I was told
And we want you to escort him out.
He’s in here to get out of the cold,
But he smells too bad to stay.
I looked at the poor man in short sleeves.
He looked so pitiful and harmless.
But it was my job as hospital security,
To inform him that he had to leave.
“Mister,” I began, “you will have to go,
We can’t let you stay in here I’m sorry to say.
This is the ER waiting room for our patients,
I hope you do understand this is my job.”
“I understand,” the vagrant replied so humble and meek,
“I do not want to cause any trouble, you see.
My friends call me Wolf” I heard him say,
“But Mister, it’s so cold outside.”
I stood on the sidewalk and watched the poor man
As he hunched his shoulders against the bitter cold,
Then it hit me with a jolt that it was Valentine Day,
And that poor vagrant was nobody’s sweetheart!
I think about that day often with deep sorrow
The day that I had to escort a street man from the ER,
I still hear him say, “Mister, it’s so cold outside
That day was a day that I hated my job.
This is a true story, from an incident that happened while I was employed as a hospital security officer. This incident has haunted me ever since. When I got home I took one of my coats and put it in my vehicle to give to this poor man if I could find him again. I never saw him again.
This next Valentine Day, be thankful you are loved.
Be not forgetful to entertain strangers for some have entertained angels unawares. I have been criticized for helping people and those who are homeless.I am sure there have been times when I have missed the mark though.Sometimes the test is put right in front of us and we fail to see.I had a brother in law who pulled off his boots and gave them to a man who had no shoes.This piece touched me deeply Thomas.Thank you for sharing this with us.