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

InterregnumKathleen Jamie

So I’m moving between rooms
with a tray, advertising
McEwan’s, the kind we took sledging
those distant snow-bright afternoons

– or funereal lacquer, with peonies,
or that classic of my mother’s:
a view of Windsor Castle
inside a wicker pale. Whatever

– a tray, and on it:
two glasses of Vouvray, or better:
croissants and cafetière, my lover
outstretched on the duvet:

or – dream on – pizza for one
and Prime Suspect.
No matter, I’m at the door now
looking round wildly,

trying to find someplace
to set the thing down,
looking round madly;
and I realise exactly

how I’ll end up:
one-legged, unbalanced
trying to hold level
this jigsaw, this haggis

this model-to-scale
of the SS Balmoral,
while howking toward me
the so-called ‘occasional’ table,

and swiping it clear
of Spot on the Farm
for the sake of this precious

from the place I’ve just left,
– a clear space
I can’t very well
turn round and reclaim,

because it won’t now exist.
Besides, that’s a trifle
defeatist, besides,
what’s the point of a tray?

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