In the latest issue:

The Word from Wuhan

Wang Xiuying

‘The Man in the Red Coat’

Luc Sante

Is it OK to have a child?

Meehan Crist

Short Cuts: Ubu Unchained

August Kleinzahler

Bury that bastard

Nicole Flattery

Surplus Sons

Clare Bucknell

Oliver Lee Jackson

Adam Shatz

The Servant Problem

Alison Light

Poem: ‘1 x 30’

Anne Carson

The Old Bailey

Francis FitzGibbon

Jiggers, Rods and Barleycorns

James Vincent

More Marple than Poirot

J. Robert Lennon

On Rachael Allen

Matthew Bevis

Like a Ball of Fire

Andrew Cockburn

The Staffordshire Hoard

Tom Shippey

Blessed Isles

Mary Wellesley

At the Movies: ‘Jojo Rabbit’ and ‘A Hidden Life’

Michael Wood

Redeeming Winnie

Heribert Adam

Diary: A Friendly Fighting Force

Nick McDonell

Close
Close

Up at five o’clock on an August morning
We carry light luggage out of the house.
With heavy cases our children stoop.
Their children are winged
With small bright backpacks.

The sky is a shop window before opening-time,
Goods shadowy as trees. But in a back room
And spreading, the light will soon come on.

We breathe cautiously in the untried air,
Talk warily at the centre of six fields.

And then comes cockcrow, swaggering up
Out of the valley. The invisible bird
Plumes himself. He was the one chosen
To nail good terrified Peter. He conquers
The dark with flying colours.

We wave our dear children and theirs
Into the growing light. We are old
And sleep late after bad nights.
We shall not hear the conquistador again
Till they visit us in another season
Travelling up the valley like cockcrow.

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