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

How would you feel if a muntjac walked in? 
Would you greet it as an exotic 
Or fret about it gnawing the fruit trees? 
Take your time: the answer will say as much 
About you as the shade of your nail polish.
After that we can go on a cycle ride.
I suggest you play safe and wear a helmet,
But we’ll forget the hi-vis lycra –
Last time it caused a panic at the pig farm. 
The coast’s really quite near, with wheatfields en route
And pheasants that road-run rather than fly –
One morning I counted 73.
Do you think me fickle or merely eccentric?
I’ve been told I’m an excellent listener
But when I’m nervous I talk too much.
We’re so new to each other after all:
I don’t even know the date of your birthday.
Instead of cycling, we could take a stroll:
The clouds may look threatening but any booms
Will be fighter jets on training runs
And if it rains we’ll take shelter in the woods.
First let me take you round the orchard.
See where the bark has been stripped from the pear?
You thought I was teasing about the muntjac
But I don’t know you well enough to joke.

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