Drafting a Poem

Yesterday, I was inspired by a post over at Daily Writing Practice, and I wrote this poem, which I felt was a first draft (and one for my newest chapbook project):

After

After he found them
His whole life lying in ruins
He couldn’t stay in the smoky, reeking ruins
His whole life had been (was) in this sky riser
He stumbled out the front door
Just enough aware to know he mustn’t look like prey
What if those who did this were still around?
He paced carefully down the deserted street
Watching his feet and noting every crack in the hard surface
Still hyper-aware of every shadowy movement
It seemed an eternity ’till he reached
The sky-riser belonging to his mother’s clan
He knocked the secret knock
The door opened to a noisy, normal evening clan gathering
He collapsed right there in the entry,
His mother’s brother catching him
And laying him out for all to gather
Round in curiosity.

Then I set to work on it, and I came up with this 2nd draft in pantoum form (but you will notice that the meter is still irregular and the end is left undone, I’m not sure what I want to do with it):

After

After he found them
His whole life lying in ruins
He couldn’t stay in the smoky, reeking ruins
His whole life had been (was) in this sky-riser

His whole life lying in ruins
He stumbled out the front door
His whole life had been (was) in this sky-riser
Just enough aware to know he mustn’t look vulnerable

He stumbled out the front door
He paced carefully down the street
Just enough aware to know he mustn’t look vulnerable
A yell, “Hey, Punk!”

He looked around wildly

He broke into a running tangle of arms and legs
Darting into the door shelter of his mother’s clan sky-riser
A yell, “Hey, Punk!”
He rapped out the secret knock

Huddled in the door shelter of his mother’s clan sky-riser
Would the door never open?
He rapped out the secret knock
The door opened, he stumbled inside

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