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Michael Brockley is a retired school psychologist whose work has appeared in Atticus Review, Gargoyle and Third Wednesday. Poems are forthcoming in Red Coyote and an anthology about small towns.
The following work is Copyright © 2019, and owned by Michael Brockley and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.
Blues Poem for a Ravaged Voice
Your mother married any man who memorized a moon ballad: Blue Moon. Moon River. Bad Moon Rising. Each stepfather told blasphemous lies about paradise and purgatory. Where an eye is taken for an eye. Where bridges are burned, not crossed. Sometime between the day the music died and your barefoot pilgrimage to Babylon, you swallowed the dark chords from a steel guitar. And quit pretending to the faith of Amazing Grace. When women, fragrant with cherishing sins, lured you to the dark end of the street, you believed they wanted sugar in their bowl and followed. You never learned how to try a little tenderness. Hallelujahs found your ravaged voice praising juke joint hookers named Josie and Louise. Red-light women with handfuls of rain. Until your songs celebrated sweet nothings uttered by your midnight rambler disguise. You used to serenade a huckleberry friend beneath a moon of rage and ruin. That well ran dry. You still miss your water. The next time you leap into the spotlight, woo the devil in a blue dress to life.
Elsie A. Chambers is a field scientist by day and a writer by night, and is still working hard to figure out how to be good at either trade. She is a graduate of Unity College and lives in a small, rural town in Maine working as a marine biotoxin technician for the state, currently, but that may change in six months or stay her occupation forever (she’ll figure that out someday). Aside from writing and testing toxic sea creatures, she also occasionally finds time for dabbling in drawing cartoons and making short horror and/or comedy films.
The following work is Copyright © 2019, and owned by Elsie Chambers and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.
Parking Lot Lights