He uses auditory perceptive words to support his descriptions such as alliterations.
A clean rasping sound " Spade sinks into the gravely ground" The gravel has the crunching and gravely aspect while the spade sinking in such a flowing manner with ease hints an experienced hand is doing it.
The spealer can describe accurately the procecess and the details of the work but can't do it himself.
The poems description of strengh while handling the shovel can represents a strong masculine figure while the speaker is an innadecuate fit for the job.
The descriptions and memories come in flashes representing jumps in time and how random they are.
Alliteration: ' A clean rasping spind"-Alliteration
'Spade sinks into gravelly ground"- Alliteration
'The squelch and slap" is a memory and onomatopeia
"Curt cuts of an edge' Alliteration
The speaker's weapon in writing is a pen as his father's is a shovel
This represents experience in the field or labor they [do.]
The poem ends with the line "I'll dig with it' stating that he will dig but he actually can't.
Could be he is digging through his memories and throughout the poem he goes through the different stages he saw his father work.
Disconnected from family labor of farming.
Shows how his old man worked and his old man did too.
"Squat pen rests;snug as a gun" He has a grip on the pen as his father has for his shovel.
The digging down creates a sense of depth in the readers mind.
The poem shows how his father is old and cannot perform the task anymore, "It is my father who keeps stumbling