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The Man in the Blue Cadillac

By Wayne Russell

PROMPT—I am grateful for ...

In hindsight

I could have been a statistic

I could have been a cold case

that rainy day

walking back from school

to that loveless home

in 1975.


It was just a short walk

about half a mile

but I was only five

and the distance seemed

much further.


Out of nowhere

came a blue Cadillac

he pulled up alongside me

he rolled down his window


"Where are you going?"


He asked in an accent that

sounded vaguely northern.

It started raining a bit harder

and I just started walking to get away

from this stranger.


We hadn't heard of "stranger danger"

in 75' all that much.


Kids that disappeared often ended up

on the backs of milk cartons

and you read about them

at the school cafeteria while at breakfast

but that wasn't until Etan Patz in 1979.


"The milk carton campaign" was only started by

the Ragan administration in the early 80's.


The man in the blue Cadillac was so nice

he politely insisted that I get in the front

passenger side

as the rain grew heavier

I caved and hopped in

I could have been that kid on the evening news

and the poor boy that was the talk of the town

for a while.


That poor kid from Florida-

I could have been the pre-Ethan Patz and Adam Walsh

but my guardian angel was pulling a double shift

that day.


And the man in the blue Cadillac

just turned out to be a good Samaritan

doing a good deed to a frightened gen-x kid

that was caught up in a rain storm

on his way home from kindergarten.


Wayne Russell is a creative jack of all trades, master of none. He is a poet, rhythm guitar player, singer, artist, photographer, and author of the poetry books, Where Angels Fear via Guerilla Genius Press, and the newly released, Splinter of the Moon via Silver Bow Publishing. Wayne writes from Athens.


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