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

ManpowerHubert Moore
Close
Close

Off-duty – unashamedly
off-capped, unbelted – she
confides over coffee

as to a friend or brother:
today Manpower contacted her
and they had lunch together.

What’s worse, the pair of them
plan to discuss optimum
staff levels at the same time

next week. What does he take
me for? Some geriatric
fumbling to undo the lock

of my own front door, if
and when my clocked-off
NHS employee-wife

breezes home to befriend me?
This meeting of theirs – maybe
it should be for three?

– with me putting the case
for one-to-one manning ratios,
patient needs. Unless

I can play it his way:
sit, day after deskbound day,
till the day of the meeting; then say

(sister indeed) ‘Sister
available? No? Don’t bother.
Just tell her Malestrength wants her’.

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