Lisel Mueller – Late Hours

Lisel Mueller (February 8, 1924 – February 21, 2020)

On summer nights the world
moves within earshot
on the interstate with its swish
and growl, an occasional siren
that sends chills through us.
Sometimes, on clear, still nights,
voices float into our bedroom,
lunar and fragmented,
as if the sky had let them go
long before our birth.

In winter we close the windows
and read Chekhov,
Nearly weeping for his world

What luxury to be so happy
that we can grieve
over imaginary lives.