Plunged into daylight,
I leave the Town Hall
in a flush of goose-pimples,
Eleven am is early
for poetry, they say.
Words orbit my head,
still sinking in,
as I saunter to the Salmon Weir
in a shock of cool, midday air.
The pleasure of waiting
in a hushed theatre
for lines to cohere.
I replay their sounds in my head
as a cormorant swoops for fish.
Stopping to guess when he’ll surface again,
I will him to bring something up.
A pause, then he reappears.
Words begin to ring clear.
I cross the street while he passes beneath
to emerge with a silver fish in his beak.
As he grasps his prize,
those metaphors speak.
Dr Emily Cullen is a Galway-based writer, arts manager, harpist, and scholar. Her first collection, No Vague Utopia, was published by Ainnir in 2003. In 2004 she curated the national Patrick Kavanagh Centenary celebrations. This poem will feature in her forthcoming collection.