The poem then becomes an elegy for the lost conceit of Innocence. The final metaphor, friends missing while older boys bully the narrator, attempts to cement the lost abstract into a stronger example of experience.
The loss of Innocence relates to a loss of faith in all known rules, a new ocean of experience without any kind of compass to impose an arbitrary direction to one's progress. To underscore this theme, the poet uses free verse in a rough pentameter. The most traditional poetic device occurs in the first line, "Life begins, you make some friends," (line 1) which contains a simple internal rhyme. This being the most obvious use of rhyme in the poem, it seems to illustrate an initial starting point of rules and standards connecting to tradition.