You entered my life near the end of your own,
Long without mother you were just skin and bones.
Nights without sleep and days without end,
Feedings and cleanings and teaching to fend.
I'll keep you safe as long as I can,
Sheltered from sickness, injury and man.
Attached I will grow, giving my all,
Dreading good buys that are due in the fall.
But go you must, you were born to be free,
Living in nature, climbing in trees.
Be safe, be strong, stay ever alert,
Leaving no trace, nor print in the dirt.
Later I'll visit where I saw you last,
In hopes of a glimpse of ringtail or mask.
A prayer I will say for your safety and health,
As you roam the woods in darkness and stealth.
And to those who have gone and those who will go,
Remember I love you like one of my own.