"My Papa's Waltz" is about a moment in the life of a family: father and son romping around in the kitchen, with mom looking on. There's controversy about the family in this poem – some readers think this is a perfectly happy family scene, while others view the family as torn apart by alcohol and abuse. We think that while there may be fear and love mixed together in this family, there aren't many dark secrets hiding in this poem except for the inevitability of death splitting the family up. But that's just us. What's your take?
The father in this family loves his wife and son, though he sometimes makes them uncomfortable.
This poem shows that alcohol doesn't result in violence for this family.