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The poem is confessional, with the speaker, a woman, baring her soul, expressing the terror that comes to her at night, and lamenting the loss of her love and the onset of loneliness, admitting that she is altering “our history” to justify the breakup by stating that her loved one, even when things seemed good, was always “withholding something.” We may presume that the “you” of the poem is the departed husband, or lover. The speaker closes with reminiscences of “lovely times” when no was met with affirmation. In the present time, however, she contrasts her fear with lost love, her cries with no answers, her silence with only distant voices. The words all suggest that the speaker’s circumstances have changed, and that everything she now experiences is “tinged” with weeping and nightmares, terror or sentimental reliving of a better past. The use of participles indicates ongoing situations of the past and the present. The participles “coaxing,” “withholding,” “trying,” and “feigning” are all in the past, and these are consistent with the presently perceived imperfections in the relationship. The participles “living” and “weeping” are descriptive of the speaker’s present condition, both indicating the difficulties she is now experiencing.
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