My dogs don’t care I only walk
to lose seven pounds I gained
over winter. We all four avoid the potholes
still muddled with snow melt. They sniff the road
as if knowing something I don’t.

Leaving the road, we cut through a newly ploughed
field, passing a rider-less tractor, its engine idling
like a hermit humming to himself. We meet the farmer

further afield propped against a wooden
fence post eating a ham sandwich. Without me asking
he tells me it burns less diesel to let a tractor idle
than turning its engine off then over again.

I ask what he will plant and he just shrugs,
as if knowing something we don’t. He nods
towards the road, and we walk on
leaving 97 shoe prints and 3750
toe tracks in his freshly furrowed dirt.