I look for you out of habit
to see you raise your head,
your tail stump beating,
but you are not there.
Sometimes you knew what I was thinking.
Always you knew what I was feeling,
and you tried to work out why.
I was always at the back of your mind,
I walk the paths where you ran,
knowing what you would have searched out,
looking for the remnants of your passing,
but the grass is still
and the water is silent.
There is nothing more
that you can bring to me.
Your grubby treasures will stay hidden.
You are not watching.
The dog in the distance
is never you.
My hand is deep in my pocket,
clutched tightly around your empty collar
as I walk, doggedly,
keeping you alive by force of will.
You gave me everything you had,
every bit of strength,
until only your iron will
to live for one more day,
one more step, remained
and it was no longer enough.