In my dream, the Blessington Street Basin
fills with the Liffey’s stout-bottle waters,
but still the swimmers come, in droves,
on the stray sovereign of an Irish summer’s day.
The river courses through the city,
turning concrete roadways to canal banks
that shrug their shoulders into dark water;
a man rises, seal-like, in his caul of silt, to wave.
At the sluice gate, where the river bends
out of sight between toppling buildings,
a black dog jumps, again and again, into the water.
And there, at the edge of vision, my parents,
ready to join the swimmers,
gesture their cheerful farewells.
– Jessica Traynor