Dancing with the stars

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I think this poem is quite obviously about child abuse and not about a small boy dancing with his father. While this seems fairly obvious I might try and back up my claim from the text.

First "The whiskey on your breath" this shows that the father was drunk and everyone knows the story of a drunken father coming home and slapping his family around.

This whole stanza, talking about a small boy, hanging on like death, and waltzing not being easy  tells a story. This is when the boy is young and has a sense of innocence which makes things worse. He hangs on like death might mean that he wishes for death because he is beat so bad, or that he feels like death. The waltzing is almost in a plural sense here so we might assume that it isnt a once in a while thing.
Battered on one knuckle might suggest that the father is angry and punches things.
Things breaking in the kitchen and mother being upset could signify the mother not really being able to do anything about it.
Finally taking the time on his head and his hands being cracked with dirt could mean that the father is a strong working man and he is beating his son.

Then again could the poem just be about a boy and his father dancing when he is drunk - being merry and accidently knocking things off in the kitchen - the dad lightly taps the boy on the head for rhythm and moves a little too rough in his drunken state and scratches his sons ear?

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