Scenic Route Poem by Lisel Mueller

Scenic Route

Rating: 3.3

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.

Poetry Hound 29 January 2005

She really brings out how evocative an abandonded house is, how there's a life that's been abandoned too. The closing stanza is a perfect ending.

1 1 Reply
Colleen Courtney 17 May 2014

Her wording of this poem makes me feel as if I'm traveling along with the poet on this trip! So vividly descriptive!

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Pranab K Chakraborty 18 March 2016

Excellent the beauty of expressing eternity with modern thoughts of accepting and rejection. Oft quoted so many lines are in procession....really enjoyed its poetic essence. Thanks to PH.

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Lauren Rosina 18 March 2016

Very creepy. I like it espeacially the last line.

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Edward Kofi Louis 18 March 2016

Packed up his life and drove off! Thanks for sharing.

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Ratnakar Mandlik 18 March 2016

Awesome narration with stunning style, the houses collapsed, not even worth the human act of breaking in, fields will have taken over.

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Jasbir Chatterjee 18 March 2016

lovely poem! thanks for sharing...congrats on being poet of the day!

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M Asim Nehal 18 March 2016

Nicely written poem, Thanks for sharing.10

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Savita Tyagi 18 March 2016

Keen and sensitive beauty and a touch of sadness narrated in flow of time. Enjoyed very much. Thanks for sharing.

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Barry Middleton 18 March 2016

Lovely. So many places like this where i grew up.

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