The Much-Loved Anne Naysmith

A poem by RUBY MASON.


Never missed Evensong

(the newspapers said)

sang beautifully

back conservatoire straight

fingers spread on her hymnal

as though

poised for chord.


Then she’d proceed

to her broken-down car

with a bouquet of carrier bags

tucked under her arm

as the traffic applauded

her homelessness and grace.


And the night the lorry

killed her

(the newspapers said)

the stars were out bright


And hundreds of well-wishers

are mourning her death


So God

let everything written

be true

let Anne Naysmith

flourish a final chord


And let it never be said

that in Chiswick

this time of year

there aren’t many


for the musical poor

and the streetlights

almost always

drown out the stars.





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