The Final Call by Bonnie Shover

In the bedroom, down the hall, a soldier sits alone.
Bags packed. Ready. Willing. Able.
But is he really ready, or is this a part to play;
A scene so well-rehearsed?

Goodbyes are never easy, and he sits, alone still,
thinking of how to explain, why he must go.
He doesn't even really know.

And as he's leaving the bedroom, he takes one last look
- A close look - the photos on the bureau
And as tears fill his eyes, a tiny hand reaches up for his.
A little voice says, "Daddy, I love you."

A grown man reaches down and swoops his child in his arms.
He holds her close, and thinks...
"She is so intuitive."

"I love you, too." he says, another hug, and they walk,
down the hall and out the door.

His wife sits in the car, as he was, alone.

"He looks so proud.", she thinks.
"She looks so brave.", he thinks.

They drive to the airbase, the three of them.
Pointing out landmarks to their little one.
Trying to make conversation.
What can either one of them say, in so little time?

They arrive to a plane that is ready to leave,
and now it's too late for words.

So they stand, together, the three of them
holding onto everything they have.

Too soon, they part.

And that proud soldier realizes that he is very brave;
and that brave wife realizes that she is very proud.

And, as tears fill her eyes, a tiny hand reaches up for hers,
a little voice says, "Mommy, I love you."
and she thinks to herself, "She's so intuitive."

"I love you, too.", she says
and they wave goodbye, and walk away
hand in hand.

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