When The Saints by Greg Freeman

I am not a silent poet

Lowest water I’ve ever seen

at Putney Bridge, the river

                   just a silver sliver.

Warmer than the Sahara.

Forty-one stations between

Wimbledon and Upminster.

 ..

At Sloane Square a four-piece

brass band blasts us with

When The Saints Go Marching In.

                        Twenty seconds

of hope and happiness.

I donate, lead the applause.                     

 ..

Exchange anxious glances

with a woman in black

                       when we’re turfed out

at Dagenham East, four stops

short of the funeral; acknowledge her

again with a wave outside the church.

 ..

The priest only mentions Paula

                           two or three times.

Preoccupied with the incense

                                 and holy water.

 ..

At the wake the woman in black

knew Paula in the 80s and 90s,

reveals herself as an MP’s wife.

There’s another MP there, and his wife,

a baroness, and a bloke that…

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