Off-the-wallBy Bob Spiwak

Down the lane and through the woods there is a tiny little house where
people go when all the plumbing
doesn’t work.

It takes a bit of planning
and a lot of understanding,
especially at night
when shadows lurk.

It was miserable timing
that the pump had lost its priming
on a night that got to 23 below.

From the pump out to the hose,
through the pipes the system froze!
There was water only in the drifting snow.

Picture this now, if you will,
’though there’s sun there is a chill
that factors somewhere close to 48 below.

When it’s that much below zero
anyone must be a hero
as he trudges to the little house
to go.

Outside, sky and snow are merging
while within there is an urging
that demands a faster pace
out to the privy.

’Though the very thought of sitting
on a seat the cold is splitting
ain’t encouraging to pulling down
the skivvies.

Once inside there’s trepidation
but no time for hesitation
and you think “Be brave,
you’re not a little kid.”

But your eyes must be deceiving
for your mind is not believing —
there’s an inch of frost
that’s covering the lid.

In the interests of good taste
and a limiting of space,
here the writer’s verse must
turn to the discreet.

For I think it will suffice to say
despite the snow and ice that day
I got out without
freezing to the seat.