Malinda Fillingham


The little girl with her pony tails of brown
stands and watches the red and blue
stripes with white stars blanketed over
the boxes that carries the bodies
of men once alive with hope and dreams

She wonders if her father will come home
running to meet her hug her hold her or
if he will be lying quietly in a box
carried by men who show no emotion
who keep silent their hopes and dreams

The little girl thinks of her father far away
in a jungle without her to tell him goodnight
does he miss her as she misses him with her
freckles and missing teeth and head full of
dreams and hopes she has for them together

The little girl hears her mother’s voice telling
her to look away and come with her for little girls
should not look at such things as dead men coming
home from war for little girls might have nightmares
and not sweet dreams when they close their eyes at night

©Copyright November 7, 2007 by Malinda Fillingham

Author’s Note: This poem was written tonight, 11-07-07 as I reflect on the Vietnam War and my step father being there for three tours as a Marine. I worked with my mother in the USO as a 6 year old, and I saw many friends’ fathers come home in coffins. I was not supposed to see this. Every war has tragedies that live on forever, especially in the children of those who die.