Anne Fitzgerald







No Air


All evening I’ve tried to catch my breath,

a heaviness pervades. Opening windows

alleviates nothing, no breath to be caught

since that night I fell for you in ways I’d thought

not possible, over the wine we didn’t spill.

You have bedded down my waking thoughts

in a slumber so deep I may never come

again to appreciate the silk lining of a kid glove,

finding fingers shape softness. And as you say

my name for the first time the taste is new

and unfamiliar. When the heat breaks,

you’re still in my head, like the scent of perfume

that will not fade. In those small hours

your shadow claims the light of all that is natural.




Prayer for my Daughter


After I am gone take

that small cardboard


box from Foilduff,

full of family and friends


down to Sandycove.

Step into a skiff,


row out past

Victorian Baths


into Scotsman’s Bay

until parallel


with Ballyghein

‘n’ Burdett Avenues.


Find the gap we used

see red sails from


our kitchen window

and there drop anchor.


Pull oars in

lay them across


one another

as pallbearer’s


hands in prayer.

Steady your spirit level,


stand like a Eucharist

Minister. From the hull’s


heart hold my box

chalice-like, give memorial


cards to fish

as if flies, photographs


cut to size, made fit

around mother of mercy


pray for us, squared by

indulgences shipwrecked.


Tides will read their paper

headstones, will watermark


betrayals across faces

cast from familial folklore


to the annals

like Commandments


if Howth is Mount Sinai

Kingstown Pier the Failed Bridge.




Districts Not Apparent


For best results

fast twenty-four


hours beforehand.

With the head


of a lolly-pop stick

I scrape internal


cheek cells

into a sterilised vial.


Add saline solution

‘n’ shake like a daiquiri.


Seal and send.

Wait for a lab


to pick percentages

hidden in ethnicity.


A dolly-mixture

result reveals


the sum of my parts.

I am of Ireland.


European. British

Isles. Iberian. Ashkenazi.


I share trace elements

from Siberia, Western


Middle East,

Asia Minor and South


Central Africa.

Yet, I am of Ireland


carrying a wealth

of geographies histories.







The three poems were first published in Vacant Possession (Salmon Poetry, 2017).












Anne Fitzgerald was raised in Sandycove, County Dublin. She is a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin and Queen’s University, Belfast. Her poetry collections are Swimming Lessons (Wales, Stonebridge, 2001), The Map of Everything (Dublin, Forty Foot, 2006),

Beyond the Sea (Co. Clare, Salmon Poetry, 2012) and Vacant Possession (Co. Clare, Salmon Poetry, 2017).


In 2006 Anne founded Forty Foot Press, in addition to two School Publishing Houses, Monkstown Educate Together Press (MET Press, 2003) and Loreto Abbey Dalkey Press (LAD Press, 2004). She is a recipient of the Ireland Fund of Monaco Writer-in-Residence bursary at The Princess Grace Irish Library, Monaco. She teaches Creative Writing in Ireland and North America. Anne lives in Dún Laoghaire, County Dublin, Ireland.


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