Dear Father

by The Cowl Editor on September 21, 2017


soldiers marching down a street
Photo courtesy of

by Kiley McMahon ’20


Dear Father,

As I walked through the rain,

drenched and frigid,

I watched the soldiers march,

one by one,

concealing their every fear

from those around them.


As I carried the half loaf bread,

worth only 50 cents,

to our family of five,

I tried to think of a logical explanation

for why the bread stood as I stood,

hard cold and frigid.


I am not the mother of our family,

but the oldest daughter,

a descendant of you,

a soldier that concealed his every fear

from those around him.


Starved as we are,

the love for our family continues to grow.


I have gotten my first job,

and in doing so,

I have learned the ways in which

to perfectly polish all shoes.


The tombstone that stands for you

marks your favorite words,

“Stand true and tall,

smile through the hunger,

and dance through the pain and fear.”


If I do these things

that you believe,

I will be held in a decent light,

until death part me from this wonderful life

that is full of adventures, fears,

and cold hard nights

that stand like the bread

that I brought to our family

on that one stormy night.


Thank you for being a soldier,

one of complete bravery and faith;

may your soul live on,

and your destiny never be forgotten.


thank you for teaching me the ways of life,

and for standing brave and tall,

putting yourself in a harmonious light.



your eldest daughter,

whose name must remain concealed,

for I fear the safety

of my very life,

as well as the safety

of our family of five.