Nessa O'Mahony

The hollow woman on the island

Nessa O'Mahony

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The hollow woman sits in her car 

watching the sea lick its lips 

at the edge of the pier. 

It compels her glance into stare

til the sides of the car disappear 

and the windscreen dissolves 

into waves and grey crests 

drawing her into depths

she has nightly dreamed of. 

She does not float, 

(despite the vacuum inside her) 

           she rolls.

Edges rounded off 

by the water’s oscillation 

till she’s smooth, buffed 

into ovoid shape, 

tide-tossed onto damp sand 

to be plucked up, 

pocketed, placed with care 

on a mantelpiece, a grave-top.


Nessa O'Mahony


Nessa O’Mahony is a Dublin-born poet. She has published four books of poetry – Bar Talk, appeared (1999), Trapping a Ghost (2005), In Sight of Home (2009) and Her Father’s Daughter (2014). She is co-editor with Dr. Siobhán Campbell of Eavan Boland: Inside History (Arlen House 2016) and produces the regular literary podcast, The Attic Sessions, with her husband, Peter Salisbury. She is a Lecturer in Creative Writing with the Open University.