4 poems assembled from the Indiana Board of Health annual report, 1877

I. UNTITLED
The general health of the inmates for the year was good,
the death of twin babes being the only ones recorded.

II. A HOME FOR UNFORTUNATES
Found one weak-minded girl,
about four years old
tied to a rope on the porch.
She is quite shy and timid.
On her head were nests of vermin.

One insane woman had set fire to the institution,
removed some iron bars from the window
of her room in the basement
and then escaped.
She is now chained to the floor.

Maternity
the greatest privilege,
destiny of woman
is illy borne by them.
They may give birth to one child,
seldom more.
Then for the remainder of life
comes invalidism
and the gynecologist.

III. THE DRY CLOSET SYSTEM OF DISPOSING OF EXCREMENT
And so foul is the odor
that issues therefrom
that the stoutest stomach
will rebel against him.

Who has the temerity
to lift the plank that covers it
and look in?

Instead of hiding away
in pits and sinks
or slushing miles of filth
The Giant is to be strangled
in its cradle
by the constant watchfulness
of draft
and evaporation.

IV. FROM NOVEMBER TO MARCH
Without restriction
all dead bodies may be transported
except:
those who die of
diphtheria
scarlet fever
typhoid fever
erysipelas
measles.

Those bodies must be wrapped in a sheet
thoroughly saturated  with
a solution of chloride
of zinc
encased in an antiseptic
interment sack,
hermetically sealed in
a coffin
which must be enclosed
in  a tight wooden box.

Under all circumstances
the funeral should be strictly private
a public one  should never be tolerated.

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