I heard this poem by Lisel Mueller on The Writer’s Almanac the other day. The poem totally moved me. Maybe it’s the timing, maybe it’s my mindset, maybe it’s just the fact that in a few simple words it conveys so much…or maybe it doesn’t even matter why. Perhaps it’s just a really good piece of poetry. Anyway, being that it’s November, I can’t imagine not sharing it’s perfection with you all.


By Lisel Mueller

Outside the house the wind is howling
and the trees are creaking horribly.
This is an old story
with its old beginning,
as I lay me down to sleep.
But when I wake up, sunlight
has taken over the room.
You have already made the coffee
and the radio brings us music
from a confident age. In the paper
bad news is set in distant places.
Whatever was bound to happen
in my story did not happen.
But I know there are rules that cannot be broken.
Perhaps a name was changed.
A small mistake. Perhaps
a woman I do not know
is facing the day with the heavy heart
that, by all rights, should have been mine.

Purchase the book in which this poem is contained here.

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