The past was tough enough to understand.
The angry days of why all the wasted time.
All the questions pecked in rock.
But worse now, we stand by the river startled,
like balking geese, like wounded herons--
Which way now? What land?
--our wings clipped to a baffled length.
Nothing we've done could surprise this river.
Don't you believe he must know by heart
the stilted hope of our mud-stuck wish,
how it's sinking farther now along the bank,
how it's dipped below the surface,
how it's become something like the past,
something long-gone and quiet?