We walked along the rugged trail
Blanketed in brilliant white
Creatures of the forest wood
Leave prints behind — pure delight!
A little thumper wins my heart
Two sets of prints, vast distance in between
I marvel at her flight
And wish the actual to be seen.
At the very moment of my heart’s desire
Not far up yonder trail
A desperate struggle commences
Insuring my wish doesn’t fail.
Up a hill and around a bend, we see her
Still warm, jet black, a bit of red
Serenely sleeping on the snow
Dead, dead, dead.
The prints on the fresh fall tell the story.
Dog free of leash picks up the scent, gives savage chase
Canine stays instinctually true
Owner intervenes, but too late.
Predator and prey nothing new
We stare down, reflecting
At this dear one so recently lost
My wish has been granted
But at terrible cost.
Can we make sense of this story?
It’s foolish to try
Better instead to feel it
And leave off asking why.
Gently laid to rest in tomb of snow
Compassion fills the air.
We leave the scene of sadness
Knowing its right to care.