Because of the reference to the war, Peter’s poem took me directly to my father; he was a war man. The idea of collecting reminded me of the coins my dad would bring home for me that I collected as though they were his love. The repetition of “torture” in the first and last stanzas reminded me of how tortuous childhood can be and how it can follow you through life. These are snippets from my draft:
Every time my father returned
from an invisible journey around the earth,
he brought me a few coins, cold, alien,
which I carefully placed in my jar,
hidden in the dark, unseen by any other eye.
My jar stayed lost in splintered space
while I traveled the golden world,
until I found, as old souls do,
that cold pennies in the barter
leave stained fixtures in the hearth.