By Pete Mladinic
Schaeffer has his favorite this
and that. His favorite female singer,
Nancy Bradley, would be his age,
she died decades before he heard her
voice, such depth, clarity and range.
She chain smoked, and cigarettes
were not helping, nor was alcohol.
She married and had a daughter,
a short troubled marriage and finally
her ex got custody of the daughter,
but before that, there was a day or
night Nancy, in a bar, got so drunk
she walked, or stumbled or staggered
out of the bar, not aware her kid
an infant was there. Good singers
do bad things sometimes, or don’t do
what they should, or like leave
the infant with a sitter or something
Nancy neglected to do. It’s a story
Schaeffer heard, but mostly her voice
what remains is the thing, a voice
to his ear like no other, such range
clarity, the voice of Nancy Bradley,
what she’s remembered for, renown
to those who appreciate her songs.
Peter Mladinic’s poems have recently appeared in Neologism, Adelaide, the Mark, Ariel Chart, 433, Art Villa and other online journals. He lives with six dogs in Hobbs, New Mexico.