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In November

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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.

Reprinted from Alive Together: New and Selected Poems, Louisiana State University Press, 1996, by permission of the author. Poem copyright © 1996 by Lisel Mueller.
Source: Alive Together: New and Selected Poems (Louisiana State University Press, 1996)
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In November

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