a windfall


How I Would Paint Happiness

Something sudden, a windfall,
a meteor shower. No—
a flowering tree releasing
all its blossoms at once,
and the one standing beneath it
unexpectedly robed in bloom,
transformed into a stranger
too beautiful to touch.

by Lisel Mueller, from Imaginary Paintings


Today I briefly sat under this tree, the wind was blowing steadily, and I found a pink blossom that fell on the grass. I tucked it between the pages of a beloved book, and left because it was starting to get too cold. Then I went to a coffee shop nearby and had hot apple cider, while writing a letter to a friend who lives in Amsterdam.

Is it possible to miss a place you've never been? Because I feel that way about Amsterdam, and other cities I've known only through books, or stories from friends and loved ones. 


Poem taken from The Paris Review, Issue No. 124, Fall 1992


  1. I think it is possible. I feel that way about so many places...

  2. So glad I came across that poem here today! The wind is blowing steadily here too and there are windfalls of blossoms. A lovely idea to tuck them between the pages of a "beloved book".