Lifesaving Poems: Ted Kooser’s ‘A Rainy Morning’

Anthony Wilson

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A Rainy Morning

A young woman in a wheelchair,
wearing a black nylon poncho spattered with rain,
is pushing herself through the morning.
You have seen how pianists
sometimes bend forward to strike the keys,
then lift their hands, draw back to rest,
then lead again to strike just as the chord fades.
Such is the way this woman
strikes at the wheels, then lifts her long white fingers,
letting them float, then bends again to strike
just as the chair slows, as if into a silence.
So expertly she plays the chords
of this difficult music she has mastered,
her wet face beautiful in its concentration,
while the wind turns the pages of rain.

Ted Kooser, from Delights and Shadows (Copper Canyon Press, 2004)

At the end of the 2014 Aldeburgh Poetry Festival I was asked via questionnaire which poets I would like to see booked by the festival…

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