In the latest issue:

Boris Johnson’s First Year

Ferdinand Mount

Short Cuts: In the Bunker

Thomas Jones

Theban Power

James Romm

What can the WHO do?

James Meek

At the Type Archive

Alice Spawls

Where the Poor Lived

Alison Light

At the Movies: ‘Da 5 Bloods’

Michael Wood

Cultural Pillaging

Neal Ascherson

Jenny Offill

Adam Mars-Jones

Shakespeare v. the English

Michael Dobson

Poem: ‘Now Is the Cool of the Day’

Maureen N. McLane

Tativille

David Trotter

Consider the Hare

Katherine Rundell

How Should I Refer to You?

Amia Srinivasan

Poem: ‘Field Crickets (Gryllus campestris)’

Fiona Benson

Diary: In Mali

Rahmane Idrissa

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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