am dark and smooth, polished by many hands,
but the one hand that I loved has gone,
so let me swing to the rudder’s motion,
moored in the lee, alone.
knew the change of weather by his grip
and felt his hunter’s passion like a tide,
and the herring scales he rubbed on me
were jewels that I wore with pride.
pitied him when wind and rain
pressed him, huddling to steer,
up against my nakedness,
the only language we could share.
not a man in all Kintyre
will point me to the open sea;
I’ll bear no other master’s hand,
but burn instead – unship me.