The Copper Beech
By Marie Howe
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.
In this poem, the speaker finds solitude, peace, and shelter from the storm in the arms of a copper beach tree. Note how the form and content work together: the line about “being alone” is a single line that stands on its own.