Carol Ann Duffy


If she were here
she'd forget who she was,
it's been so long,
maybe a nurse, a nanny,
maybe a nun -

A girl I met
was willing to bet
that she still lived on -
Anon -
but had packed it all in,
the best verb, the right noun,
for a life in the sun.

A woman I knew
kept her skull
on a shelf in a room -
Anon's -
and swore that one day
as she worked at her desk
it cleared its throat
as though it has something
to get off its chest.

But I know best -
how she passed on her pen
like a baton
down through the years,
with a hey nonny
hey nonny
hey nonny no -