Oct/Nov 2004 Poetry

Shipping News

by Allison McVety

Shipping News

My plimsoll line is dangerously submerged.
My ballast tanks, in need of dry-dock and, some
might say, emergency repair, see me list more
to starboard than to port.

I displace more fluid than before and there's
little doubt that where once my wake was
frigate-like, narrow bowed, fast moving,
my beam is now a tanker.

It takes me miles to change direction, I am so
lumbering. Other vessels part to let me pass, afraid
if they don't, I'll drag them under or run aground,
spilling my cargo of crude.


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