Young lovers can be torn asunder by many means, and one of the more diabolical means appears to be the inspiration behind the poem “Time.” However, unlike what the title may indicate, the blame does not fall to time alone, if at all, but to a far less likely source; “the two shadows towering over your life.” Time, or maybe just these shadows as the text indicates, “slapped you and hit you so hard your skin grew shell-thick sturdy and impenetrable.” As much as I hate to infer this, but these shadows mentioned may actually be the parents of the lover spoken of, and they hold responsibility for hardening this child.
The fact that there are two “shadows” leads me to believe that they are actually the two parents, or perhaps guardians, of this child. Upon considering, not many other things that really have the capacity to do such harm come in pairs. Also, as much as I hate to say it, some parents do beat their children… What a senseless act that ignites such indignation in my heart… But I digress.
Should the part of the poem regarding the hitting and slapping be taken literally, one could easily explain what happened. These shadows, which may be terrible parents, beat their child, and these beatings over time changed the child. His/her “tenderness” was lost, which makes sense considering the very people that should PROTECT and NURTURE their child are doing such harm. However, I must admit that this may not be physical abuse, but mental and emotional. Many people can take physical pain easily, but emotional pain is another story. Psychological attacks often leave deep, yet invisible gashes, which require special means to heal.
Behind this poem, quite possibly lies a story. This story happens to be a tragic tale of love gained and love lost by the betrayal of two people that should never behave in such a way. Two lovers, separated by the mental wall which one puts up over time as a result of repeated beatings by the people that brought him/her into the world… Why must such atrocious acts occur? I cannot even begin to imagine why… And I pray I never will.