The Canberra was to be put in a dry dock
by Roni Margulies
to be dismantled and sold off piece by piece.
Just a few lines in the papers.
They caught my eye early one morning.
The Canberra, a seasoned ship of the world
set off on her maiden voyage thirty-five years ago
to Australia, bearing with her British emigrants
who dreamed of a new life in a new land.
Years later, she carried troops to the Falklands war,
and wounded there, only just escaped sinking.
Her long holiday tours in the Mediterranean
must have been her life's most restful time.
She could never have guessed she'd enter my life.
Those years she took students on summer holidays,
in the mid-sixties, they'd stopped in Istanbul,
and the kids came to visit to our school.
I don't remember why anymore
but even then England was my dream.
For months, the gigantic ship stayed in my mind.
As the Canberra now stands rusting somewhere,
I wonder if the question ever arises to those people
she took to Australia, as it does to me:
"Would things have turned out better elsewhere?"
Translation: Saliha Paker and Mel Kenne