Liffey Swim

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

Jessica Traynor

Jessica Traynor's first collection Liffey Swim (Dedalus Press) was nominated for the 2015 Strong/Shine Award. She was a 2014 recipient of the Ireland Chair of Poetry Bursary and 2013 Hennessy New Writer of the Year. In 2016, she was commissioned by the Irish Writers Centre and Ireland 2016 to be a part of 'A Poet's Rising'. Poems have recently appeared in Poetry Ireland Review's 'Rising Generation' issue, Agenda, the Cafe Review and have been broadcast on Sunday Miscellany.

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