Letters from a Soldier by Alicia W. is a heartwrenching piece about what war really takes away from a person. It is written in second-person. From your perspective you experience a nameless male going off to war, presumably to become a hero on the battlefield. He is gone for so long the letters begin to tell a tale of a new life, and it soothes you that at least you get a tiny bit of him attached to the letters. In spite of this, you have already came to the crumbling realization that he isn't coming back. Except he does manage to conquer all odds and come back home to you. The poem says, "the bell chimes through the house . . . you open the door and you cry out. He is standing with a letter in hand."
This is a breathtaking poem that got more emotional for me as it went on. It balanced the metaphorical-emotional quality with solid, definite statements, which doesn't take away from the piece, but does the opposite. It just made me realize that a poem doesn't have to be filled to the brim with symbolism and figurative language. It just has to have a powerful message - that is the essence of this piece, and, in turn, the essence of a good poem.