In the latest issue:

Loathed by Huysmans

Julian Barnes

Too early or too late?

David Runciman

Short Cuts: Five Victorian Marriages

Tom Crewe

Society as a Broadband Network

William Davies

Indefinite Lent

Thomas Jones

In 1348

James Meek

The House of York

John Guy

At the Movies: Pasolini’s ‘Teorema’

Michael Wood

Secrets are like sex

Neal Ascherson

Poem: ‘The Bannisters’

Paul Muldoon

Clarice Lispector

Rivka Galchen

Marius Petipa

Simon Morrison

At the Foundling Museum: ‘Portraying Pregnancy’

Joanne O’Leary

Caroline Gordon v. Flannery O’Connor

Rupert Thomson

Revism

Joe Dunthorne

Poem: ‘The Reach of the Sea’

Maureen N. McLane

Diary: Where water used to be

Rosa Lyster

How to set up an ICU

Lana Spawls

RecognitionAlistair Elliot
Close
Close

On the Town Moor the butchers keep their cows,
A healthy hospice near the abattoirs.
Something is strange here, but they calmly browse,
Flicking flies with the nameplate in their ears,
And ruminate without conclusion, till
I cross the skyline.

                   In my grey and blue
They recognise me on the man-made hill
And give a low, surprised, ancestral moo,
Wildly start up on high-heeled feminine feet,
And run to kiss me with a clumsy joy.
Their eyes, like goddesses’, sadden when we meet:
I’m not their farmer, nor his bovine boy.

But still they stare, incredulous, in a trance:
Something has come again ... A second chance ...

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