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A Forced March

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He raises her, high over his broad shoulders
as if presenting a gift to the sky
And she learns that it is her duty
To uncover her beauty
And twirl at center stage

He unwraps a layer of her cocoon
Leading her on explorations
Discoveries of worlds and seas
And she understands that her paths
Will carry her as far as she lets them

He sits with her and he catches a butterfly
Together they watch it flutter
Hoping so desperately
That it has been taught to fly

He embraces her squirming hand
As they are forced to march to the camp
The soldier orders him to march left
And her to march right

He can only hope he has taught her to swim
Through the river of tears
All the father can leave for his daughter





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