"They hurt me. I grow older..."
See in text (Text of the Poem)
It pains the speaker to see the symbols of time passing. In this stanza, we're able to definitively establish a timeline for the speaker, placing her husband's departure in March, five months before August, when summer gives way to fall. In this time, two seasons have passed, a garden has grown, and the speaker has spent much time staring at the river, awaiting her husband's return. It's unclear if he'll ever come back.