"IN THERE"
 
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In the Age of Constipation
Which existed long ago,
The most important thing in life
Was going to the "loo".

With senna and cascara
So frequently applied,
The wonder is that anything
Remained in our inside!

But "Loo" had not been thought of
In distant days of yore,
So next, for contemplation, is:
"What was it called before ?"

The words "latrine" and "privy"
Were considered rather crude,
And you couldn't call it "lavvy"
If you lived in OUR road!

We'd never heard of "kazi"
(O, tell it not in Gath!)
And you Couldn't call it "bathroom"
'Cos it hadn't got a bath.

"Toilet" had more connection
With a gentle maiden's face
Than with functional receptacles
On which the rear to place.

And so there was this problem
Of what to ask the kids
Who showed no sign of 'functioning.
(No details - taste forbids!)

Then Mother had a brainwave
Which untied the problem's knot
Of what to call the little room
Wherein one did a squat.

Each night there came the question
E'er we tottered up the stair;
She'd turn to ask each one of us,
"Oh, have you been in THERE?

November 1996.

The Estate of William John Green, 2004