Today is her first birthday
On the twenty-first of May.
She looks beautiful on a 3x5,
But I’m a million miles away.
I’m a million miles away,
So in my mind she hasn’t grown.
She’s still a picture-perfect child,
That I must shield from what I know.
I often think about her mother,
Playing the roles of mom and dad.
And it breaks my heart, but still I know
That I cannot go back.
Because sometimes in the night, I shake.
In my dreams, I’m in Iraq.
I’m crying over my wounded brothers,
And fighting to make it back.
But a father should be strong,
So I can’t let my daughter see.
I can’t bear to tell my wife,
That the man she married is no longer me.
So I fight for my country,
But I’ve never fought for myself.
I chose my brothers over my family,
And I put my daughter on the shelf.
Today was the first birthday,
That she spent beside a grave.
And now I’m the one on the 3x5,
Above a casket in display.
I’m trying not to slip away,
And wishing I could somehow stay,
I realize now the mistakes I’ve made.
But now, as I always have been,
Am a million miles away.