Bury the Boy

The way he leans against the side
of my leg is a sign of trust,
not weakness. He’s been standing there
since I was seventeen. His balance
is a bit off and his hips give out
quicker than they used to, but
it doesn’t stop him from giving chase
to rabbits and the faint howls of night.
He knows to follow my voice
when he forgets where he is
and finds himself lost in the corner,
confused by walls. He growls low
in his sleep and jerks his tired legs,
remembering the trouble he used to find
in the days when the neighbors
were less forgiving of his mischief.
The curl of his mouth and the eager stares
he catches my attention with remind me
he’s not done with this world and still
loves to wake to it. I’ll bury the boy
when he ain’t got any run left in him
and the shine in his eyes is lost
behind the cataracts. He’ll tell me
when it’s time to let him go.

NaPoWriMo 2015
Poem-A-Day Challenge, 30/30
Prompt: Bury the __________.