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July 09, 2006|By TED KOOSER

Some of the most telling poetry being written in our country today has to do with the smallest and briefest of pleasures. Here Marie Howe of New York captures a magical moment: sitting in the shelter of a leafy tree with the rain falling all around. - Ted Kooser

"The Copper Beach"

Immense, entirely itself,

it wore that yard like a dress,

with limbs low enough for me to enter it

and climb the crooked ladder to where

I could lean against the trunk and practice being alone.

One day, I heard the sound before I saw it, rain fell

darkening the sidewalk.

Sitting close to the center, not very high in the branches,

I heard it hitting the high leaves, and I was happy,

watching it happen without it happening to me.

Ted Kooser has been U.S. poet laureate from 2004 to 2006. Reprinted from "What the Living Do," W.W. Norton & Co., 1997. Copyright 1997 by Marie Howe.

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