For Lucy, who called them "ghost houses."
Someone was always leaving
and never coming back.
The wooden houses wait like old wives
along this road; they are everywhere,
abandoned, leaning, turning gray.
Someone always traded
the lonely beauty
of hemlock and stony lakeshore
for survival, packed up his life
and drove off to the city.
In the yards the apple trees
keep hanging on, but the fruit
grows smaller year by year.
When we come this way again
the trees will have gone wild,
the houses collapsed, not even worth
the human act of breaking in.
Fields will have taken over.
What we will recognize
is the wind, the same fierce wind,
which has no history.
Lisel Mueller's Other Poems
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Comments about this poem (Scenic Route by Lisel Mueller )
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(16 August 1920 – 9 March 1994)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(30 December 1865 – 18 January 1936)
(23 June 1889 – 5 March 1966)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
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- If, Rudyard Kipling
- The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
- A Child's Christmas in Wales, Dylan Thomas
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- The Raven, Edgar Allan Poe
- Christmas Trees, Robert Frost
- The Boy Who Laughed At Santa Claus, Ogden Nash
- A Psalm of Life, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
- Bright Star, John Keats
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