Christmas Trees

Beside the road, browning in the breeze,
Are th’unadorned and corpselike Christmas trees.
Their severed stumps pine for forsaken sod,
The rootless forest for a promised Rod.

Dangling from a beam of their own bark,
They wait in vain for cries of joy or “Hark!”
In these rejected trees we find reversed
The truth that He who hangs as such is cursed.

O Tannenbaum, in our homes most hailed!
Atop your point, you bear the famous star,
But stand upright upon a hidden scar.
To your wounded trunk is nailed
a cross.

Saddest are the stumps still left unbought
Whose lives-toward-death prove to be for naught.
But in month or in a mere twelve days
The chosen, too, will be tossed to decay.

These balsams, while they grew, gave mankind breath
But their nature is to fragrance even death.

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