The Daughter of a Soldier

A child sits on her father's bed, admiring the dauntless soldier before her.

He packs his things spread along the floor.

He avoids meeting eye contact with her, as she looks up at him in admiration.

He is a soldier, fighting for his country, his home, his family.

He prays he'll return to watch her grow up, to walk her down the aisle, and live another day.

As the plane takes off, he opens his bag to find a homemade, heart-shaped card.

"I love you Daddy. I'm going to miss you," is scribbled in the middle along those creased lines.

He folds it again and places somewhere safe.

He'll go fighting with his daughter's heart in his back pocket.

He'll die with it in his hands; reading his daughter's words over and over again.

"I love you Daddy. I'm going to miss you."

A crate returns home.

A daughter left alone in a world so cold.

She cries without realizing he's never coming back.