Poetry 5 May 2021 The NS Poem: from uncivil A new poem by Andrew McMillan. Getty Sign UpGet the New Statesman's Morning Call email. Sign-up each morning the walk beyond the workmen as they line up to change crouch down as though they are swimmers and the kerb is the edge of the ocean slipping off pumps lacing up boots sometimes it’s jogging bottoms shimmied down replaced by practical canvas things not clothing but protection and always already the high-vis illuminated by their own headlights and beyond them and beyond the train depot they service every day where single carriages lay like dormant cattle behind fences the stucco of the terraces is cracked so the sides of the houses have branches and the Railway Hotel is no longer near a railway and has no beds to speak of though through the empty ringpull of net-curtain there is a tinfoil glint of Christmas and as the day breaks itself apart on the floor the hatched egg of an upturned hardhat Andrew McMillan is a poet based in Manchester. His debut "Physical" was the first poetry collection to win the Guardian First Book Award. This poem is an extract from “uncivil”, which will appear in McMillan’s third collection, Pandemonium (Jonathan Cape), on 20 May. › Subscriber of the week: Terry Mackie Subscribe For more great writing from our award-winning journalists subscribe for just £1 per month! This article appears in the 05 May 2021 issue of the New Statesman, If not now, when?