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Burning the Last Outhouses

by Greg Grant

Merl made sure that we set the last outhouse upright,
on top.
He strategically stuffed newspaper into
All the important crevices.

"Oh, this baby's gonna go high," he chuckled.
"Gonna singe the trees, this baby is."

He lit the newspapers and we stood back.

"Lookie there, Gary, she's already startin' to go."
The flames sputtered up through some cracks,
Feeling their way over the board edges,
clambering up to the next level.

"Boy, look at her now.
That's one way to get a hot seat,"
Merl said as we stepped back to avoid the heat.
"You can tell by the way they burn
Them's good solid two-by-fours.
Sure don't build them like that any more.
Merl sighed.
"That's the last of 'em, Gary.
They're all gone.
Yessir, that's the last of 'em."
Merl started the tractor
And I climbed up on the hitch.
We drove away,
And the end of an era burned like Rome behind us.

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