Verse > Anthologies > William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. > Anthology of Massachusetts Poets
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William Stanley Braithwaite, ed. (1878–1962).  Anthology of Massachusetts Poets.  1922.
 
In the Trolley Car
 
Ruth Baldwin Chenery
 
 
THE SWART Italian in the trolley car,
    Hoarded his children in his arms and breast;
The mother, all unheeding, sat afar,
    Her splendid eyes were vague, her lips compressed.
 
One Raphael-boy slipped from his father’s knee,        5
    Climbed to her side, and gently stroked her cheek,
She turned away, and would not hear his plea,
    She turned away, and would not even speak.
 
With trembling lips the child crept back again
    To the warm shelter of his father’s breast;        10
We looked indignant pity, for till then
    We thought that mother-love bore every test.
 
We rose to go, the father-mother said,
    In deep, low tones, “Don’t t’inka hard you bet
The younges’ was too-seeck, and he is dead,        15
    She will be alla right, when she forget.”
 
When she forgets! “Great-Heart,” hold closer yet
    Thy precious brood and let it feel no lack!
Until her soul shall wake, but not forget,
    When the warm tides of love come surging back.        20
 

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