finally out of her kennel
at the rescue facility
she wags her tail
and at times her entire backside
as she walks by my side
smelling everything
big gentle paws joyful on grass
when we get half way we pause
upon some church steps
where she decides to give
nonstop kisses
w/ her long notched tongue
the missing piece a sign
of her days as a bait dog
her past not obvious
upon first glance
the poor girl’s muzzle mangled
by a much larger dog
rehearsing on her face
for his opponent
in that blood sport
orchestrated by humans
but now her golden eyes shine
above camouflaged scars
as we continue our walk
and, christ, let me say
how in awe i am
of her effortless practice
of the very thing
for which our shapes return
innumerable times
to this place
yes, how very much in awe

Rob Plath, contrary to popular belief, is not yet under the jurisdiction of the worms. His latest book of poems Batter the Keyboard Like a Raptor Is Behind Yr Back is available from Laughing Ronin Press. See more of his work at: Read other articles by Rob.