But clocks tick on, and season come and go,
The names of cities change, events retain
No witnesses, and memories and tears
May not be shared...
Unwanted and unsought,
The shades of loved ones shrink and slip away
And we recoil in horror from the thought
That they might reappear...
...We realize that we no longer know where lies the path
To that lone house, and run as in a dream,
Despairing, mute, to where it stood, and go! -
Discover that the walls, the things, the columns
Are different and strange, and that we too are strangers there...
Anna Akhmatova. Northern Elegies IV