He turns on a lamp as the evening deepens. He pours himself a glass of white wine. The phone rings an old-fashioned ring. He looks at the phone but he doesn’t answer. The answer machine clicks on.
His voice says: I’m afraid I’m not here at the moment. Please leave a message.
A woman says ‘hello’ three times and then she hangs up.
He turns on the television. The woman who said hello, hello, hello, is being interviewed. She’s explaining how she rang the number of her dead husband’s phone in the hope he would answer. But he didn’t, of course.

These days

For people who don’t like water there’s always dust.
The child asked for a bottle of water. The mother said; that’s boring. Have a Coke or Pepsi.
One day there’ll be no more odourless, tasteless liquid. Everything will be flavoured with death.
They were shocked by how quickly the river system collapsed. As fast as a bank in September eroded by a swelling tide.
River bank. On the riverbank, beside the river on the bank, merrily the weasels play.
You couldn’t bank on any river flowing to the city. The lakes were dry.
Estuary birds fled the scene. Even crocodiles became disadvantaged.

Colin Campbell Robinson

If you have any comments on this poem, Colin Campbell Robinson would be pleased to hear from you.