Magazine | August 13, 2018, Issue


(Bruno Kelly/Reuters)


(A park in South Philadelphia)

I thought red-winged blackbirds were rare, seen one
Afternoon down in Wilmington and once
On Boathouse Row, never again. But here
They were in the dozens, weaving among
Prodigious twelve-foot-high cattails. Back in
The lace-curtain neighborhood near the end of
The city, the laptop zombies long for
Coffee-shop windows. Down here at the lakes
Five or six crows harass a red-tailed hawk
Until he dives to evade them, his rusty
Tail catching the sunlight for a second,
Then flies back up and scatters their raucous
Posse. A tangle of underbrush guards
The edges of ponds expanded to lakes
After rain. A young couple dance in a
Gazebo, eccentric as a mockingbird
In June swirling around startled runners,
Guarding a nest from anything that moves.
That’s one afternoon we spent in the park
Watching nature rehearse and go forward,
A bright swan at its center that landed
Before we came and was there when we left.

Lawrence Dugan's poetry has appeared recently in Arion, National Review, The Spectator and The Threepenny Review.

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners


Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Elizabeth Warren Is Not Honest

If you want to run for office, political consultants will hammer away at one point: Tell stories. People respond to stories. We’ve been a story-telling species since our fur-clad ancestors gathered around campfires. Don’t cite statistics. No one can remember statistics. Make it human. Make it relatable. ... Read More
National Review


Today is my last day at National Review. It's an incredibly bittersweet moment. While I've only worked full-time since May, 2015, I've contributed posts and pieces for over fifteen years. NR was the first national platform to publish my work, and now -- thousands of posts and more than a million words later -- I ... Read More
Economy & Business

Andrew Yang, Snake Oil Salesman

Andrew Yang, the tech entrepreneur and gadfly, has definitely cleared the bar for a successful cause candidate. Not only has he exceeded expectations for his polling and fundraising, not only has he developed a cult following, not only has he got people talking about his signature idea, the universal basic ... Read More

Feminists Have Turned on Pornography

Since the sexual revolution of the 1960s, the feminist movement has sought to condemn traditional sexual ethics as repressive, misogynistic, and intolerant. As the 2010s come to a close, it might be fair to say that mainstream culture has reached the logical endpoint of this philosophy. Whereas older Americans ... Read More
White House

The Impeachment Defense That Doesn’t Work

If we’ve learned anything from the last couple of weeks, it’s that the “perfect phone call” defense of Trump and Ukraine doesn’t work. As Andy and I discussed on his podcast this week, the “perfect” defense allows the Democrats to score easy points by establishing that people in the administration ... Read More

Democrats Think They Can Win without You

A  few days ago, Ericka Anderson, an old friend of National Review, popped up in the pages of the New York Times lamenting that “the Democratic presidential field neglects abundant pools of potential Democrat converts, leaving persuadable audiences — like independents and Trump-averse, anti-abortion ... Read More