An Animal Soul Riding Shotgun

by Rob Plath


i read a story about a snowplow guy

on his shift in a blizzard at 2 am

& how he hesitated & then at last

stopped to check the tags on a black lab

struggling through the drifts alone

& as soon as he opened the door

she jumped in & spread herself out

across the seat, her slushy paws

muddying his front seat & paperwork

that was pinned in his clipboard

& she gratefully ate half his night’s meal

a convenience store hotdog he shared

& she repaid him by lying there sweetly

an animal soul riding shotgun as he worked

the dark streets into the wee hours

& he was sad when the owners finally

called back in the morning to retrieve her

the best partner I ever had, he lamented

then headed back out again to finish

the remaining 24 hours of his shift