Bless the poet
with the chickens
Bless the woman wracked
with pain
Feel the comfort livestock
gave her
Simple warmth their soft refrain

See the lady
cold in winter
Hunched up close
beside her flock
How she managed
in such weather
Sleeping there amongst
the lot

Nancy Luce
knitting mittens
Nancy in her younger days
riding down to
trade and barter
Free to sell the goods
she’d made

Wind on horseback
strong determined
Pumped with hope
flush with youth
Free from ailments
blessed with knowledge
Island woman
Island truth

Now the sadness
slowly closes
How the pains of
illness press
As her parents fall
before her
The future portends
dire distress

Nancy struggled
with life’s furrows
She plowed on through her
pain with pride
Thus she leaned
ever forward
Clutched her feathered
flock beside

Dr. Luce her staunch defender
Such as country
doctors share
Lives of kindness
days spent healing
Helped to sort her
worldly cares

Her old cow goes
a new one showed up
Fresh milk and grain she
fed her hens
Sustained herself on
mealy porridge
Shared it with her
Bantam friends

Dear Hearts Nancy called
them softly
Through the day and
dead of night
All her dreams and
silent whispers
Shared with chickens
with delight

Nancy Luce with
pen and paper
Scribed her way along
life’s path
She wrote with style
pure and simple
Homespun words destined to last

By herself with
cunning courage
By herself with
cow and hens
By herself with craft
most stubborn
By herself until
her end

Nancy wrote about
her troubles
About those boys that
teased her days
About the neighbors
she respected
About the ones who mocked
her ways

People came
out of town-ers
Came to gawk and
buy her poems
She held her own
her wits about her
Till they left her
all alone

She wrote with style
grace and purpose
from her heart
of her rough life|
With great strength of
human spirit
seeping out of
human strife

Nature’s love she saw
in chickens
In her yard and in
her home
She found peace in
natural goodness
So she was really
not alone

Bless these thoughts that she
left with us
Bless the hearts of Nancy Luce
Dear and precious is
Her message
Whose meaning we must
never lose

                  —Steve Ewing