Almost Forever
Maria Testa
69 pages; published 2003

The four of us
with other families,
we all gathered
in a building
on the Army base,
all in a special room
set aside
for saying goodbye.

One year
is not
such a long time,
Daddy said,
kneeling on one knee
in front of me,
my shoulders.

In one year, Baby
you'll be in
second grade,
not first,
and you'll be
seven years old,
not six,
and then
I'll be home.
One year
is not
such a long time.

I did not
tell Daddy
that he was wrong -
that second grade
was half a hallway
and a whole world
away from first,
that seven
was everything
six was not,
and that one year
was forever.

There are literally hundreds of war books told through the voice of the soldier. Almost Forever, however, speaks through the unique (to me at least) voice of the soldier's child.

The innocent, six-year-old narrator watches as her father, a doctor, goes off to fight in Vietnam. Far from the horrors her father is undoubtedly witnessing, his young daughter is dealing with the impact the war has had on her and her family back home: moving house, letters from her father, seeing her mother cry, and, worst of all, starting to forget what her father really looks like.
This book is told entirely through verse, short beautifully simple poems that convey both her sense of loss and hope to see her father again. 3/5

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1 comment :

Serena said...

this sounds like a great find! Thanks for posting this.