He had a forgettable face, the man at the holiday desk,
handing out brochures: save up to 75 percent on
last minute cruising bargains
Glossy posters offered: mystery destinations, ports incognito,
we’ll carry you in luxury the jingle sang
and in the fine print small cabins, no portholes, cryogenics optional
No passports required – We look after all the visas!
All dietary restrictions catered for –.
extra heating available for passengers who prefer a
I shook my head in no-thanks, turning to hand the brochure back:
All dissolved, faceless man, music and marketing stand:
colour posters replaced with dripping grey
grit underfoot, a patchy gangway, wind and flapping
white blanks peering from the deck
the ship in silent motion, hovering above a greasy sea.
No band, no tickertape, no farewells
Not quite the short break I'd planned.