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Lisel Mueller's Poems


by Lisel Mueller

Sometimes, when the light strikes at odd angles
and pulls you back into childhood

and you are passing a crumbling mansion
completely hidden behind old willows

or an empty convent guarded by hemlocks
and giant firs standing hip to hip,

you know again that behind that wall,
under the uncut hair of the willows

something secret is going on,
so marvelous and dangerous

that if you crawled through and saw,
you would die, or be happy forever.




The poems reprinted here appear in Lisel Mueller's Alive Together (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1996). Copyright © 1996 by Lisel Mueller. Used with the author's permission.