Poetry International

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The Independent Online
The Poetry International festival opened at the South Bank in central London yesterday, and will run until 8 November. Every day the Independent will print a poem by one of the featured writers. Today's poem is 'The Voices' by Fleur Adcock, who will be reading in the Purcell Room at 1pm.

The Voices

The voices change on the answering-machines:

not the friend but the friend's widow;

not the friend but the other friend.

'I'm not here' the machine tells you.

'This is the job I never did -

this fluent interface with the world.

He/she did it; but I'm learning.

Now all the jobs are mine or no one's.

There's no one here. Leave a message.'

Fleur Adcock

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