In Praise of Donkeys

What does a donkey know of consciousness? 
The sweet taste of carrots, the soft caress 
of a child who loves him, if he is blessed 
to be owned by those who know his worth. 
One of the innocent creatures of earth 
who eats no meat, who sheds no blood, 
he walks in peace, through field and mud. 
Though burdened by human wish and want, 
he does not begrudge it. He is a fount 
of patience, pilgrim who knows the way 
without a map. He does not stray 
from the righteous path. Night and day 
he is the self he’s meant to be, 
dear body he inhabits but can’t see.