This was my boy our last time at the beach.
He was surveying that farther shore, where
my footsteps cannot yet follow.
In the photo one can see a white light
outlining his body. His spirit
was already contemplating its passage
to the spirit-world.
I followed your footprints
to the edge of the known world,
the vet's office, one step short of
the open gate of the crematorium.
I could go no farther.
You did not want to go.
Your footsteps faltered, you held back,
I urging you on,
because I had no choice,
because you were dying,
though your spirit wanted so much to stay.
I accompanied you to the final moment,
when your heart and mine stopped beating.
Mine resumed its steady beat,
but less strongly,
I am still following your footprints,
and will until the day
that gate into the fire
opens for me,
when again our spirits meet
and together we're set free.
For Hannah's prompt at Real Toads: Transforming Nature's Wonders: to write about footsteps in nature - any creature's. Of course the footsteps I thought of first were those of my wolf-pup, on that final night.