In the latest issue:

Botanic Macaroni

Steven Shapin

What made the Vikings tick?

Tom Shippey

In the Lab

Rupert Beale

Will there be a Brexit deal?

Anand Menon

Short Cuts: Under New Management

Rory Scothorne

Out-Tissoted

Bridget Alsdorf

Sarah Moss

Blake Morrison

Poem: ‘Country Music’

Ange Mlinko

On the Trail of Garibaldi

Tim Parks

Art Lessons

Peter Campbell

You’ll like it when you get there

Tom Crewe

Early Kermode

Stefan Collini

‘The Vanishing Half’

Joanna Biggs

At the Movies: ‘The Truth’

Michael Wood

The Suitcase: Part Two

Frances Stonor Saunders

Poem: ‘Siri U’

Jorie Graham

Diary: Getting into Esports

John Lanchester

Close
Close

For my mother at 75

The sun-room, but there’s only drizzly rain
Finessing silly doodles on the view
Of what would otherwise be summer grass
And blameless lupins blazing at the stake.
So all eyes turn indoors. And here again
Like kindly furies standing over you
Are friends and family who raise a glass
Then falter, smile, and wait for you to speak.

You flap your hand, half anxious, half amazed –
A hand the years have softened like a slip
Of soap dissolving when it makes a dive
And settles underwater in the pearly-greys
Created by what used to be its shape –
Or would, if you were here and still alive.

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