Cutty Sark

From the foggy Clyde
round the Cape of Good Hope
all the way to Shanghai she braved storms
and the advent of the steam age.

Who sentenced her to this?

Raised high and dry,
made fast with iron struts:
the viewing of a perfect corpse
by a procession of nosy landlubbers.

Taunted by seagulls, mocked
by the rising tide… The wind tugs
at her empty rigging. She will not move
for all the tea in China.

Do not go near her. Leave her be.

When all is quiet, she dreams
of sailing with her luckier cousins,
the Marie Celeste, the Flying Dutchman,
the Pequod on their endless voyages.

A wind is in her sails. The iron rusts
and falls away. The dry dock is empty.


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