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American Life in Poetry: Column 406

BY TED KOOSER, U.S. POET LAUREATE

Another winter is upon us, and Barton Sutter, a poet who lives in Duluth, knows all about cold and snow. Here’s a preview to get us thinking about what’s in store for us.



A Little Shiver

After the news, the forecaster crowed
With excitement about his bad tidings:
Eighteen inches of snow! Take cover!
A little shiver ran through the community.
Children abandoned their homework.
Who cared about the hypotenuse now?
The snowplow driver laid out his long johns.
The old couple, who’d barked at each other
At supper, smiled shyly, turned off the TV,
And climbed the stairs to their queen-size bed
Heaped high with blankets and quilts.
And the aging husky they failed to hear
Scratch the back door, turned around twice
In the yard, settled herself in the snow,
And covered her nose with her tail.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2012 by Barton Sutter, from his most recent book of poems, The Reindeer Camps, BOA Editions, Ltd., 2012. Poem reprinted by permission of Barton Sutter and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2014 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction's author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.

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