My daughter has lived overseas for a number of years now. She married into royalty, and they won’t let her communicate with any of her family or friends. She lives on birdseed and a few sips of water. She dreams of me constantly. Her husband, the Prince, whips her when he catches her dreaming. Fierce guard dogs won’t let her out of their sight. I hired a detective, but he was killed trying to rescue her. I have written hundreds of letters to the State Department. They have written back saying that they are aware of the situation. I never saw her dance. I was always at some convention. I never saw her sing. I was always working late. I called her My Princess, to make up for my shortcomings, and she never forgave me. Birdseed was her middle name.
From The Ghost Soldiers by James Tate. Copyright © 2008 by James Tate. Reprinted by permission of Ecco/HarperCollins. All rights reserved.