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

Suitcases

Piled in the corner of a second-hand store
in Toronto: of course
it’s an immigrant country. Sometimes

all you can take is what you can carry
when you run: a photo, some clothes,
and the useless dead-weight

of your mother-tongue.
One was repaired
with electrician’s tape – a trade

was all a man needed. A girl,
well, a girl could get married. Indeed
each case opened like an invitation: the shell

-pink lining, the knicker-
like pockets you hook back
with a finger to look

for the little linked keys. I remember
how each held a wraith
of stale air, and how the assistant

seemed taken aback by my accent;
by then, though, I was headed for home.
I was bored, and already pregnant.

Pioneers

It’s not long ago. There were,
after all, cameras
to show us these wagons and blurred dogs,
this pox of burnt stump-holes
in a clearing. Pioneers;
their remains now strewn
across the small town
museums of Ontario:
the axe and plough, the grindstone,
the wife leaning by the cabin door
dead, and another sent for.

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