In the latest issue:

Botanic Macaroni

Steven Shapin

What made the Vikings tick?

Tom Shippey

In the Lab

Rupert Beale

Will there be a Brexit deal?

Anand Menon

Short Cuts: Under New Management

Rory Scothorne

Out-Tissoted

Bridget Alsdorf

Sarah Moss

Blake Morrison

Poem: ‘Country Music’

Ange Mlinko

On the Trail of Garibaldi

Tim Parks

Art Lessons

Peter Campbell

You’ll like it when you get there

Tom Crewe

Early Kermode

Stefan Collini

‘The Vanishing Half’

Joanna Biggs

At the Movies: ‘The Truth’

Michael Wood

The Suitcase: Part Two

Frances Stonor Saunders

Poem: ‘Siri U’

Jorie Graham

Diary: Getting into Esports

John Lanchester

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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