We're Going For Ice Cream / by Cyle Talley

It's a bright afternoon as my daughter and I emerge from the doctor's office. Her eyes are red, puffy, and wet. She's got a smiley face sticker on her ruffly pink shirt and a rainbow striped band-aid on her arm. My ears are still ringing. 

We walk across the parking lot to the car and, in a shaky little voice still tinged with hysteria and sniffles, my daughter says, "I fought hard, Daddy. I fought real hard."