Matador Writing: “Pixelated Screen and Dial Tones”


An Honor guard stands still as the motorcade carrying U.S. President Barack Obama makes its way into Arlington National Cemetery, Nov. 11, 2015 in Arlington, Va. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)

Vincent Nguyen

Poem by Mary Grace Pilapil
A note from the poet:
Veteran’s Day is a great day to thank our service men and women for their time. This entire week should be taken to show our appreciation and thanks for all that they’ve done and sacrificed. Alongside that, we should also consider family members who give their time and unyielding support to our military members. This poem describes some of the thoughts of a military child.
Mary Grace Pilapil

Pixelated Screen and Dial Tones 
Her tears fell silently
as she sat in the back seat of the car.
She knew this was all wrong.
Eight years old and only two years
of piggy back rides and playground play-dates.
She should be screaming at the top of her lungs
for the loss of her childhood,
but instead, she sat in the backseat, silent.
Her tears fell silently on her pillow at the crack of dawn.
It should be forbidden to cry while the sun greets a new day.
Eleven years old and two deployments,
yet no one understand why she won’t leave her room.
She wants to yell and scream, leave me alone,
but instead, she strongly holds her head high
and wipes away the tears silently.
Her tears fell silently on fresh cut grass
in the middle of a soccer match.
She seems to think, this is the norm.
Ten years playing and only five matches
of encouraging cheering and shouting in the crowd.
She should be angry at the lack of his presence,
but instead, she stands tall
and furiously sprints into the tear-stained field, silently.
Her tears fell silently
as she sat in the back seat of the car.
She knows this is not normal.
Twenty-one years old with a staggered memory of her father,
raising her through pixelated screens and dial tones.
She should speak up after all these years
allow herself to be weak for just a moment,
but instead, she sat in the backseat, silent.