Poem of the week: Aubade, by Amanda Bell

for Elizabeth

As we drive along the quays at dawn
a clean sun lightly strokes the domes,
transforms the city to a Hallmark card –

all baby pinks and blues – white clouds
scudding out to sea, as east-bound geese
inscribe the sky with their goodbyes.

This is the hour the homeless own
the empty streets. At traffic lights
a bearded icon supplicates,


but I drive on – my wallet left at home –
I must remember to avoid the tolls
on my way back, without you.

Throat catching on diesel fumes
I watch you disappear into the ship
beneath your rucksack carapace.

How I envy you this barely broken day –
Dublin Bay reflecting nacre,
everything you need in just one bag.

Amanda Bell’s First the Feathers (Doire Press, 2017) was shortlisted for the Shine Strong award for best first collection of poems. A new collection is forthcoming from Doire in 2021