All but braying, a sadness that animal.

And the walk is a rite wherein
the sadness may, if only

for a moment, forget its many reasons to be
(hence the attention again

to other fields,
where leaves burn by the fence-

posts and the fields further out,
forgetting the leaves altogether and the smell of them).

The walk is a ritual wherein
the scenery exists mostly outside the self.

There is a ridge then below us only ocean,
a kind of shorthand for stillness

born on the back of something else. 

This poem was one of the winners of the 2013 "Discovery" Poetry Contest.