I set to build an outhouse in the woods. 
My ancestors and ruffed grouse keeping vigil in the trees. 
My old man never built one.  
But Iíll bet my grandads did.

The beach the glaciers left behind underneath the tree roots
When my ancestors, still African, were digging their first
Made the half-grave easy to dig. 

Three-quarters of a floor, four walls, a door, a seat, a high vented ceiling
An internal chamber,
Keep the secrets, spiders, flies, and odours on one side,
the people on the other. 

A woodpecker echoed my wall perched hammering, 
Reminding me that I am just
A guest in this factory that turns water, light and air into wood fibre;
The wood fibre into dirt, 
The outhouse, this factory turning night-soil into dirt
Will itself be turned into dirt, 
Turning as I build it,
Long before the glaciers come again.

© Ken Marchant