Nancy died in seventy-three

She was only twenty-three

She was a gamer

She was a good one


Prom Queen

Second in her class

Basketball player




As a teen she stitched up a lamb

That had ripped its gut out

On barbed wire

Fearlessly stuffed in the gut

And stitched the lamb up

Saved its life


Always liked to help others

Always wanted to be a nurse

Baked something at Christmas time

To bring to shut in Ruth Brown

On Music Street


Died in a Plane crash

With her boyfriend Greg

Small Columbian Airline

Went down in the mountains

Of Columbia


August twenty-seventh

We were haying that day

Nice second cut


Moms somehow know

Mom had a bad feeling that morning

Listening to that AM Providence

Radio Station

Maybe it was Salty Brine

Who mentioned a plane crash

In Columbia that morn . . .

She didn’t really know

Until the call came in

From the State Department

Late that afternoon


Barbara Maciel was there

At the farmhouse

When the call came in

Poor Barbara had to come

Out to the barn

To tell us all


“Mr. Fischer I have something

Awful to tell you

Your daughter has been killed.”


I was stunned

I thought it might be

Sister Jean

But she was working at Alley’s

How dangerous is that?


Dad knew it was the plane crash

He went right back to the house

To comfort Mom


The things you remember

The things you forget

Didn’t she have a big brown birthmark

On a bad place?

Yes a big one

Just above the bum

The same bum, that

On a dare

She sat down naked

In a snow drift

She was a gamer

She was a good one


Not just because

She was the middle child

Of five kids in the family

That she was the heart

Of the family

Oh no

It was much more than that

She made us get

A Border Collie puppy

When we had had no dog for awhile

She could speak up to our Dad

In those crazy changing late sixties


Worked at Humphreys Bakery

Helped get Bart

Back into the world

Just by being nice to him

And treating him with respect


Drove Proc’s old Car in high school

Green ’55 Chevy wagon

Back when there was a bunker

At Katama

To have a beach party at


Went to Boston University

Four year nursing degree

I would go and stay with her

To go to a ballgame at Fenway

Another sister may not have urged

Her little brother to take the bus to Boston

For a game


Greg was Home Port love

He played soccer at Nichols College

Back before we all played soccer


He was in the Peace Corps

In the Dominican Republic

Teaching Agriculture to the locals

Nancy had gone down for a long visit


When Greg got a week off

They went traveling

To South America

To Columbia


What are the chances

What are the odds

That a West Tisbury farm girl

Would be on that plane

That day


No Nancy wasn’t perfect

Who could forget that weekend

She brought a bunch of B.U. girls down

To stay at the camp

She was driving Hal Tinker’s

Old Dodge wagon then

The brake did not get set

The car rolled into the pond that night

Kenny Belain had to come

With the wrecker

To save the day


Or was it Beanie Alley

Manning the tow truck

Oh the time goes by


I wish my wife and kids

Could have known you

I wish you could

Have had kids

You would have been a great Mom


Years temper the sadness

But to any who knew her

Let’s try to remember

How great she was

At least for

A little longer

— Arnie Fischer