Graphic from the book for the top of even-numbered pages

The Little Tree

In a fair branching sisterhood,
Protecting each other as sisters should, 
 
The crabapple trees in the hollow stand,
Closely crowding, hand in hand. 
 
But on the hilltop's barren crest,
Sundered far from all the rest, 
 
Whipt by all the winds that blow,
Five little trees together grow. 
 
They put out their hands, but cannot teach,
For all their striving,each to each. 
 
Thus the others could not aid
When a direful stroke at one was made__
 
A stroke that maimed the little tree
And left her praying not to be__
 
A piteous sight for who might pass,
Her topmost twigs in the matted grass. 
 
But when fair Spring came by that way,
Could the tree her bidding mild gainsay? 
 
One weakling bud was left her still
She put it forth with a quickening will.__
 
Now here she stands, a cripple bent,
Calm with wild Nature's calm content; 
 
And when again the thrushes sing,
She'll hold her nosegay out to Spring. 
 
Somehow,fairest of all I find
The little tree that would not be__
        But changed her mind. 
 
__Rose Morgan
 
Sunflowers, A Book of Kansas Poems
Selected by Willard Wattles
pages 132-133
(Chicago: A. C. McClurg. 1916)
 
September 18, 2001 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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