"Be a good girl while I'm gone, "
Daddy told his daughter as he walked out the door,
Leaving for three months on his first trip with his new job,
Leaving her alone with the woman she's come to abhor.
"Don't fight with your mother, "
He told her after a year of constant travel,
Coming home to pretend he didn't see his child suffer
As her relationship with her mother unraveled.
"Stop, and I'll fight for you, "
Was his final attempt to make her behave,
But she was never the one out of line;
She was protecting herself and trying to be brave.
"I can't fight for you if you fight, too, "
Was his conclusion and his reason to not try,
But how could he ever fight for her
If he was never home long enough to say hi?
"I'll talk to her for you, "
Was his compromise after seven years of traveling,
But what good are his words if he never says anything
And leaves his daughter to do all the talking?
"I can help you if you'll let me, "
Was his next unsupported claim;
She'd always had to fight her own battle
Because Daddy's fix-it-all phrase became,
"You're Daddy's little soldier, "
And soldiers don't show their tears;
They are brave and keep their emotions
Bottled up as they face their worst fears.