The last swim. A poem by Bobbie Sparrow

From midnight on the 27.3.20 Galway city beaches were closed
to protect against the spread of the Covid 19 virus.

I feel skinny in my swimsuit
flesh stripped from old worry for my first born,
he a benign Shylock and I the willing Antonio.
Each person here is two metres away from me,
I don’t know them but I miss them.
Will the sky have fallen before I swim again,
will I be a Henny penny without the sea?

These thoughts give no pleasure.

Then my feet meet the icy cold water
my vagus nerve begins a prayer of thanks.
Immersed now, the cold banishes all distrust
my life becomes possible again, I swim
roll on my back, salt giving flavour and bounce,
I watch the sky stay
temporary clouds.

There are no thoughts, only pleasure.


Bobbie Sparrow is a poet living in the west of Ireland. Her poems have been published in both national and international journals including Orbis, Crannog, Skylight 47, The Honest Ulsterman and Cordite. Bobbie was the Featured reader at the Over The Edge open Mic August 2017 and at the Far From event in Cuírt festival of literature 2018. Bobbie was awarded 3rd prize for her Chapbook in the Blue Nib Chapbook competition 2018. She was placed second in the Galway University hospital arts trust Poems for patience competition 2020.

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