We met our favorite poet twice last weekend,
the second time in captivity,
the first time in the wild.
Up on the porch,
in the rocking chair,
he probably sought solitude and calm before blustering adulation, but we two fans,
had other things in mind.
“Is that?” and “Should we?” gave way
to stepping off the sidewalk, looking up, feigning ignorance,
and asking was the bed nice, the breakfast tasty, and would he recommend this B & B?
They were and he would, though he’d only been there two days and was leaving tonight. That’s when we came clean.
“We thought we recognized you, and now hearing your voice…
we look forward to seeing you at the reading.”
He said yes, he would rock here a bit longer, then go rock the joint.
Upon entering the joint we switched roles.
When he finished rocking it we lined up along with the rest of his prey,
books and hats in hand,
hungry for a few more moments.
Our turn came and we came cleaner.
“So, we actually knew it was…” but didn’t get any further, because Billy Collins interrupted,
the top predator’s prerogative,
telling us with a sharp-toothed smile “Yeah, I clocked you before that. You can’t get away with that bullshit.”
It had been bullshit, but our favorite poet was wrong.
We got away with it.
[This didn’t happen last weekend, but had when I wrote the first draft of this. He’s our favorite poet, and maybe he could become one of yours as well. I particularly recommend The Lanyard, The Trouble with Poetry, Litany, and a couple on dogs. I also wrote another tribute to him, in a rough approximation of his style, a few years ago. It’s about salad.]