This heart-felt poem, by army child Tyler Larkin, topped the age 9-11 poetry category in the Never Such Innocence poetry, art, speech and song competition. It runs annually for youngsters aged nine to 18, and this year, the focus was on conflict and its impact. Read more here

A military child

One bleak winter morning,
More unusual than most.
My dad left home to catch his flight,
For his new overseas post.

My head could not quite grasp it,
My heart was running wild,
Conflicting emotions often felt,
By a military child.

I question why he left us,
I could not say for sure.
He could not take us with him,
Yet he did not go to war.

My father is a soldier,
A hero, I believe.
Yet to serve among an army,
Means that sometimes they must leave.

Till’ now I’ve been quite lucky,
His job remained right here.
For only once he went to war,
And I was too young to feel fear.

He’s never been away so long,
It’s goodbye, but not forever.
A year will come to pass,
And again, we’ll be together.

In dark times I have carried on,
Through sadness I have smiled.
This is strength conveyed from soldiers,
To a military child.

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