The Last Christmas Tree
by Howard D. Fencl
I saw a truck of Christmas trees and each one had a tale,
The driver stood them in a row and put them up for sale.
He strung some twinkly lights and hung a sign up with a nail;
"FRESH CHRISTMAS TREES" it said in red
"FRESH CHRISTMAS TREES FOR SALE."
He poured himself hot cocoa in a steaming thermos cup,
And snowflakes started falling as a family car pulled up.
A mom, a dad, and one small boy who looked no more than three
Jumped out and started searching for the perfect Christmas tree.
The boy marched up and down the rows, his nose high in the air;
"It smells like Christmas, Mom! It smells like Christmas everywhere!"
"Let's get the biggest tree we can! A tree that's ten miles high!
A tree to go right through our roof! A tree to touch the sky!"
"A tree SO big, that Santa Claus will stop and stare and say,
Now, THAT'S the finest Christmas tree I've seen this Christmas Day!'"
It seemed they looked at every tree, at least three million times
Dad shook them, pinched them, turned them 'round to find the perfect pine.
"I've found it, Mom, the Christmas tree I like the best of all!
It's got a little bare spot, but we'll turn that to the wall!"
"We'll put great-grandma's angel on top the highest bough!
Oh, can we buy it please, mom, PLEASE?! Oh, can we buy it NOW?"
"How 'bout some nice hot cocoa, asked the man who owned the lot.
He twisted off the thermos top, "Now, THIS will hit the spot!"
He poured the steaming chocolate In three tiny paper cups.
They toasted,"Here's to Christmas, and they drank the cocoa up.
"Is this your choice the tree man asked, this pine's the best one here!"
The boy seemed sad, my daddy says the price is just too dear."
"Then, Merry Christmas, said the man, who wrapped the tree in twine,
"It's yours for just one promise you must keep at Christmas time!"
"On Christmas Eve at bedtime as you fold your hands to pray,
Promise in your heart to keep the joy of Christmas Day!"
"Now hurry home! This freezy wind is turning your cheeks pink!
And ask your dad to trim that trunk and give that tree a drink!"
And so it went on all that blustery eve
As the tree man gave tree upon tree upon tree
To every last person who came to the lot
Who toasted with cocoa in small paper cups,
Who promised the promise of joy in their hearts
And singing out carols, drove off in the dark.
And when it was over one tree stood alone
But no one was left there to give it a home.
The tree man put on his red parka and hood
And dragged the last Christmas tree out to the woods.
He left the pine right by a stream in the cold,
So the wood's homeless creatures could make it their home.
He smiled as he brushed off some snow from his beard,
When out of the thicket a reindeer appeared.
He scratched that huge reindeer on top his huge head
"It looks like we've started up Christmas again!"
"There are miles more to travel, and much more to do!
Let's go home, my friend, and get started anew!"
He looked to the sky, and heard jingle bells sound
And then, in a twinkling that tree man was gone!
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