I smiled to think Maybe he is dreaming of—an interview? An interviewer who has come to him, in stealth?
In all, I took seven surreptitious pictures that afternoon of Mr. Frost slack-jawed and dozing on a porch swing. Sold to a private collector, resold to another collector, and one day to be placed in the Robert Frost Special Collections in the Middlebury College Library, discreetly catalogued Bread Loaf August 1951 (photographer unknown).
Taking Mr. Frost's picture without permission was a brazen act, I know. I had never done anything remotely like this before in my life—at least, I didn't recall having done anything like this: appropriated something not mine, that I believed to be mine; that I believed I deserved. Yet all this while I was trembling in dread of Mr. Frost waking and discovering me. Exhilaration coursed through my body like a swift, sexual shock—I will steal the poet's soul! It is what I deserve.
* This is a work of fiction, though based upon (selected) historical research. See Robert Frost: A Biography by Jeffrey Meyers (1996).
From Lovely, Dark, Deep by Joyce Carol Oates. Copyright 2014 The Ontario Review. Excerpted by permission of Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.