See how the past is finished
here in the present
it is awake the whole time
never waiting
it is my hand now but not what I held
it is what I remember
but it never seems quite the same
no one else remembers it
a house long gone into air
the flutter of tires over a brick road
cool light in a vanished bedroom
the flash of the oriole
between one line and another
the river a child watched

W. S. Merwin, from “My Hand,” The Shadow of Sirius (Copper Canyon Press, 2009)