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Kidnapping Billy Collins

2009 September 21
by J. Scott Mosel
So Glad It's Winter Here

So Glad It's Winter Here

The snow fell like a soft ode

as we drove him North on U.S. 23

toward Alpena, Michigan, our destination.

He sat in the back window seat

next to Anne and Jan.

Julie drove and eyed him in the rear view.

His body seemed small and rumpled

in the Jeep, just the way we wanted him.

We gave him Vitamin Water, XXX,

and a travel pack of Xtra Cheddar Goldfish.

We wanted him alert, pacified.

We crossed the Au Sable, then hit Greenbush,

and he said, “I am so glad

it’s winter here—I can see steam rise

from the coffee cups.” We smiled.

Of course he did, but we didn’t listen.

All of this had a purpose, you see,

we had bills to pay, we had to get out of debt,

pay off the sitter, hide the grays,

buy new shades, rotate the flywheel,

fly off—Papua New Guinea— fly

on a bright white canvas full of humping

sea-turtles, that’s right, and an army

of Howler Monkeys on the beach,

and they are doing it too—everyone

going somewhere or doing it,

but what the hell, it was Tuesday,

and we were kidnapping Billy Collins.

We passed through Harrisville,

and Billy watched a bald man with no hat

scraping the ice off his truck.

He said, “Every face I see is a snowflake.”

We looked at each other and we knew

we had him, now we understood

this was going to work.

Maybe Billy knew, too.

He seemed relieved in the back seat,

looking out the window, his soft,

childlike face without a care in the world.

Softly, he said it, over and over,

the thing about the snowflakes,

and we moved forward all the time,

heading toward the city beside the lake

where we would tie him up and make him pay

for all of it,

for everything he was doing to us.

6 Responses leave one →
  1. September 22, 2009

    Awesome! Love the last three lines.

  2. Sue Sexton permalink
    September 25, 2009

    I would think FOR SURE that if there were a poem called “kidnapping billy collins” it would have been written by Anne.

  3. September 26, 2009

    Hello Sue. Well, in many artistic ways, Anne did write this poem. I had to think of what Anne may have experienced on such a journey. In the future, sooner or later, it would be great to have a poem or essay, written by Anne, about the actual experience.

    Thank you for coming to the site and checking in with some thoughts. Submit if you feel the urge. Take care, Scott.

  4. September 29, 2009

    I am thoroughly entertained. Good stuff! I will for sure think of this when I meet Billy Collins in January.

  5. William Doreski permalink
    October 1, 2009

    This is a great concept and needs to transit from fiction to fact. Good ending–I hope Billy somewhere is reading this poem.

  6. October 5, 2009

    Thank you Bill. Believe it or not, there is a real possibility that the transit will take place. Billy should be warned . . .

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