bourbon bottles
Photo by Nick Rickert on Unsplash

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D.B. Cooper’s Wife, After the Hush Money by Paul David Adkins

Reader, you don’t know me, don’t

care that I purchased a Polara with twenties.

I wrecked it in a week,

bought a Barracuda.

Dammit, he screamed,

keep it down! No cops!

I wish you got more money.

I earned a split lip,

icepack pressed

to my left eye socket.

Big man.

Big man.

Bourbon after bourbon.

Bomb in a briefcase:

wires and sticks he painted blood red.

He took care

to hurt no one else.


Paul David Adkins lives in Northern NY. He served in the US Army from 1991-2013. Recently, he earned a MA in Writing and The Oral Tradition from The Graduate Institute, Bethany, CT. He spends his days either counseling soldiers or teaching college students in a NY state correctional facility.

Author's note

There are few American crimes more mythological than the 1971 hijacking of Northwest Orient Flight 305 from Portland to Seattle. Still unidentified "D.B. Cooper" gained control of the aircraft with threats of a bomb. He demanded $200,000 and a parachute in exchange for the release of passengers. After landing, freeing most hostages, and receiving the requested equipment and money, he ordered a skeleton crew to fly the plane over the Cascade Mountains, where he parachuted into darkness with the ransom, never again to be seen. I conjectured that Cooper survived the fall and wilderness trek, and his wife benefited financially from the theft, though not without experiencing the common hazards of marriage to a criminal desperate to discretely spend his newfound wealth. Essentially, despite his notorious actions in 1971, the most dangerous place to be with D.B. Cooper was in his house, sharing his bed.