Dublin City 4:15AM

Almost sunrise. The relief of surviving
another night of turning and fighting with sleep.
Feet pressing on unfamiliar concrete.
Buses moving in the city which is alien to me.

Hotel living for a weekend.
It is April, four fifteen AM
it’s too late or too early for whiskey.
I go in search of tea,

The street is slick with morning mist
the quite loud to country tuned ears.
Bird song is lost in the row of passing vans
and startled alarms.

The river beckons.
neon reflections red and green
I walk bridge to bridge in search
of heat and a comforting voice.

The early markets,
fish, fruit, vegetables.
A world I once knew well hails me back
from Smithfield and St Michans Street.

George’s café! still here to this day?
steam on windows and farmers talking,
reputations made and lost on the toss of fortune.
To rich and ripe for me this agrarian company.

“milk and two please” I say,
and George smiling, passes it out.
I leave, back into the cold.
Armed with heat, a mug of steaming tea,

I make my way on uncertain feet
back toward the Liffy. East,
Following the line of flowing water,
Flat soles sore, unused to cobbled stones

The first rays of sun appear
through the wrought iron rails
at the Halpenny bridge, Gold and grey merge,
sunlight blessing another morning.

-Dave Kavanagh

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