Nancy L. Meek

ABSENCE MAKES THE HEART…

Today, he may die in the mud,
be shot… swiftly losing blood,
as I lose it night after night,
praying that he’s still alright.

I dread our doorbell ringing,
fear that it might be bringing
the news that he is gone.
Oh, how could I go on?!

How could I survive without him?
Tell our children about him?
That Daddy has gone away,
and won’t be home some day.

How can I break such bad news
to our babies, should they lose
the only daddy they know?
Could they handle the blow?

He hugged them and kissed them,
said that he already missed them,
and “Look after Mommy, okay?
Make me proud while I’m away.”

I tote his photo around with me,
for those times it will hit me
that he may not come home.
Oh, God, let him come home!

Today, he might die in his blood
fighting, he said, “to bring some good
to those folk who could sure use some,
whose futures still look gruesome.”

So, Father God, be with my man…
“Daddy” to this little naive clan
tugging at the hem of my dress,
wanting my attention, I guess.

But no, it’s not that at all, I see;
they are simply watching me,
concerned, because I’m crying,
as I pray that their Daddy’s not dying.

“Mommy, Mommy!” one is saying,
“Please don’t cry. Watch me playing!
See, I’m a soldier… just like Daddy!
I hope that you’re not mad at me.”

He’s just a babe, so what can I say
except, “Daddy would be so proud today
to see you marching the way he would
and he would salute you… if he could.”

The other is standing doe-eyed, in tears,
his daddy absent for nearly two years;
but wait, I see that isn’t the reason at all
as he suddenly screams, “I lost my ball!”