Footprints in the Sand

Footprints in the sand, halfway to the water,
small, unevenly spaced,
stopping, starting, mixed with falls.
Later they are large and strong,
moving forward as if there is a goal.
But then they pause,
waiting for a question to be answered.
They change direction—
first up the beach,
and then back.
And then forward—
slower than before,
toward the water.
They stop, hesitating,
and then into the water,
disappearing beneath the waves.