The speaker, the omniscient narrator, takes the reader into his past, but keeps the focus, until the end, in the present, as shown in:
This denotes the adult in the present, but portrays the experience of both man and boy, father and child, with immediacy. The tone is gentle, pensive and intimate, inviting the reader to participate and become involved in the loving father child relationship. This is evident in how the memories are expressed, recalling past and present emotions:
The poem might be described as a metaphorical representation of the child within the man, the man that child became, and the bonds of a loving relationship that had powerful affect on each, and on those who share that experience. This is alluded to and clarified in these lines:
The poem's rhythms reflect the gentle going and coming of talk and connection between the two, altering pace as the child's thoughts rush forward, toward the inevitable changes of time. Using off rhyme, as in "redder", "riding" and "smell" and "smiles" assonance is present, and consonance occurs with alliteration in:
That line reflects the tenderness and love, as together they explore the meaning of happiness, the intensity of which, the father cannot verbally express. ...