In the latest issue:

The American Virus

Eliot Weinberger

The Home Life of Inspector Maigret

John Lanchester

Story: ‘Have a Seat in the Big Black Chair’

Diane Williams

The Last Whale

Colin Burrow

In Beijing

Long Ling

Princess Margaret and Lady Anne

Rosemary Hill

At the Movies: ‘Arkansas’

Michael Wood

Ruin it your own way

Susan Pedersen

At Home

Jane Miller

The Ottoman Conundrum

Helen Pfeifer

Poem: ‘Muntjac’

Blake Morrison

Piketty’s Revolution

Geoff Mann

Short Cuts: In Tripoli

Jérôme Tubiana

Coetzee Makes a Leap

Christopher Tayler

At Auckland Castle: Francisco de Zurbarán

Nicola Jennings

Drain the Swamps

Steven Shapin

Diary: In the Isolation Room

Nicholas Spice

Close
Close

Into the streets and the sun –
Going home, let out from school,
To tea – Buccleuch Street, Vennel,
Down we ran to the Whitesands
Where the buses started from.
As well as mine, there was one ...
One that I always looked for,
A different colour and shape –
Its bonnet was like a car’s –
From the bigger smarter lines,
Red and white Caledonian,
Carruthers, yellow and brown:
Its paintwork strangely faded
With a bluey-mauve, chalky
Only half-metallic bloom
That made it seem like a shell
Or even a kind of flower,
As though already a part
Of the narrow country roads
Whose banks and hedges rubbed it
With juices and tangled grass
As it went its inland way.
Where did it go to? Corsock,
The only name on its front.
Who was the girl who caught it –
For whom, each afternoon, it
Ran? Who was the girl it served?
Where, come to that, was Corsock?
When would I get there, ‘win’ there,
Find it? No, I never did.

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