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The Loo

John Terpstra


I read somewhere that this
part of the country was first
settled because of one.
That Father Louis Hennepin came
upon the building by accident
during his travels along Lake Huron.
This was already in 1679, at a time
when flush toilets were considered too
indiscreet for most Europeans.

The cause of sanitation has come
a long way since those first
squatting moments in the bush.
It has been shown that we
are better drained than our parents,
are clean in areas of the body
hidden to science, refuse
lice on religious grounds.
It is to give historical
imperatives their due, that a line forms for the loo.

We are moving more and more indoors,
and I am relieved just to talk about it.

At less than two my daughter
is beyond all this, stands
on the beach, in the long
line of those encouraged by the greatness
of the lake, goes
where she is, naked,
new to the world, and
thinking the way they used to,
thinking empire.



John Terpstra's works copyright © to the author.


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