It still lies doggo in an

older Mersey-sider’s mind

a sight to sadden lookers

on - an Empress vessel

trashed by fire – a dire

event for which the word

of happenstance or Act of

God unaccountably applies.

Before she belched her last

black puff of smoke - the fire

appliances, and sad faced folk

of Merseyside who’d seen her

as a prize in yester times, now

say their catechisms of lament

as dockside workers and a wider

populous appeared as gutted

as the ship itself – now resting

with its funnels spread alongside

the harbour wall – palls of smoke

still oozing through portholes

left ajar by last crewmen aboard.

An inglorious end but one to send

assessors whooping with delight.




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