RRS Discovery

RRS Discovery, Dundee

by Struan Gow

RRS Discovery:

She cannot glimpse the sea. She cannot feel it wrap around her hull—salt within the wood, burning hot to cold warping her skin. She cannot hear its rhythm like she cannot hear her heart. They have taken that from her and pinned her on a wall. They’ve given her glass eyes and painted her with shining new coats, layers on layers—the strata of a dead ship. Deer head on the wall. Instead of antlers she has masts, and instead of fur she has a hull. Once she had been to the edge of the world—the blurred line between reality and imaginary, where men became forged or killed. She tries to imagine those wicked seas again, but it has been too long. There is no rhythm to her now but the soft-soled steps of tourists—the staring souls who wonder: why is the paint so bright?

Struan Gow is a Scottish writer currently living in St Andrews. His writing varies from religious satire to social commentary, and often connects to his Scottish heritage. His work can be found within the Black Poppy Review and Acumen’s Young Poets section.

Photograph by Mactographer, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.