In the latest issue:

In Quarantine

Erin Maglaque

Après Brexit

Ferdinand Mount

Short Cuts: Springtime for Donald

David Bromwich

Meetings with their Gods

Claire Hall

‘Generation Left’

William Davies

At the North Miami Museum: Alice Paalen Rahon

Mary Ann Caws

Buchan’s Banter

Christopher Tayler

‘American Dirt’

Christian Lorentzen

Fiction and the Age of Lies

Colin Burrow

In Lahore

Tariq Ali

GOD HATES YOUR FEELINGS

James Lasdun

Rereading Bowen

Tessa Hadley

At the Corner House

Rosemary Hill

William Gibson

Thomas Jones

Poem: ‘Murph & Me’

August Kleinzahler

The Stud File

Kevin Brazil

John Boorman’s Quiet Ending

David Thomson

In Shanghai: The West Bund Museum

John-Paul Stonard

Diary: The Deborah Orr I Knew

Jenny Turner

The Word from Wuhan

Wang Xiuying

Close
Close

She lay mute as an Old Testament sacrifice;
nothing so abundant as a thicket –
but barbed wire, a secular parallel,
the sheep had snagged her horn on, days before

judging by the jaundiced eyes and tantrum
of panic, perfunctorily abandoned
when we came by. She must have tried grazing
the wrong side, where the promised pastures grow,

and ended up like this – involved
in a fatally elegant metal-puzzle.
Like Samson, the secret of her strength
was her undoing. Plush Derry peat

that let its coppery fluid seep
round every footprint till the ling sprung back
had stained the once-white fleece with darkness
in a rising watermark. Keckhanded

Samaritans, we unwound the ravelled horn and stood
rooted as the sheep reared in reverse out,
Lazarus-like, from the bared earth’s open trench
and, as if the wire’s plucked note, running its length

faint as a pulse, had knelled for no one else,
her lungs rasped like broken bellows, her back legs
braced to uphold the body’s earthbound weight
then let the burden fall back on its own.

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