Evening Poetry, December 2

The Garden

by Lisel Mueller

I bring my mother back to life,

her eyes still green, still laughing,

She is still not fashionably thin.

She looks past me

for the girl

she left her old age to.

she does no recognize her

in me, a graying woman

older than she will ever be.

How strange that in the garden

of memory where she lives

nothing ever changes;

the heavy fruit

cannot pull the branches

any closer to the ground.

You can find this poem in Alive Together.

Evening Poetry, November 13

In November

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.

You can read this poem in Alive Together.