Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, GREEN CROSSES, by ABBIE FARWELL BROWN

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

GREEN CROSSES, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: At the back of the pompous houses
Last Line: The green cross of love.
Subject(s): Christmas Trees

AT the back of the pompous houses,
Above the beautiful river-way,
A row of squalid barrels
Blush at themselves in the morning light.
From one grotesquely leaning,
Dusty and scarred
Amid the dead, forgotten slag and ashes,
A fir-tree thrusts its live, protesting fingers --
Crosses of green.
About it still cling a few silver cobwebs,
Rags of its brief splendor.
It was the Christmas Tree
That graced the cheerful drawing-room
A little while;
That blessed the comfortable house with its fragrance,
And with its symbols of love,
The small green crosses.

A pinched, pale child with hungry eyes,
Ragged and wolfish, but with wisps of glory
Still haloing her hair,
Comes with her bag of rubbish.
Her eyes brighten;
She sets down her heavy burden,
She forgets the cold as she picks at the little tree,
Plucks eagerly at the fragile cobwebs;
They are so silvery few!
But they do not go into the heavy sack.
Her thin, blue fingers snap one of the green crosses;
She twists the tinsel thread about it,
And sticks it in her breast.
Then she shoulders her bundle of trash,
And stumbles away, smiling.

The green crosses, alive in the dust!
The Christmas Tree!
The evergreen tree whose roots are cut --
On the dump it will die!

The Christmas Tree!
What if this ornament of brief holidays,
This plaything of a favored few,
This strong, slow-murdered creature of pure woods,
With its green crosses,
Were really growing!
If it were rooted in the hearts
Of Christendom!
How different a world would see this sunny morning!
No war; no hate;
No want nor selfishness;
No ragged children, starved for tinsel joys,
Furtively clutching at rejected beauty
On a forgotten cross,
The green cross of Love.

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