The Simple Life

Day 26 of NaPoWriMo.*

For today’s prompt, we were asked to fill out an “Almanac Questionnaire” that you can find here, then use our responses as the basis for a poem. And so I came up with this depiction of where I live.


The Simple Life

I live in Washington.
State, not DC.
In the city of Vancouver.
United States, not British Columbia.
Across the river from Portland.
Oregon, not Maine.
Oh, never mind. It’s complicated.

Explorers Lewis and Clark wandered through here
on their way to the Pacific Ocean.
Lewis wrote that the area was
“the only desired situation for settlement
west of the Rocky Mountains.”
Then he moved on and settled in Oregon instead.
When asked why, it is said he was said
to have said, “It’s complicated.”

Captain U.S. Grant was stationed here,
at Columbia Barracks. Then he resigned from the army
and became president. Eventually.
A very uncivil war intervened in that General timeline.
We’re still hashing that war out.
Complicated, indeed.

Sasquatch roams the forests in these parts.
Kinda shy, though; we don’t see him much.
Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding roamed the ice rinks here.
Then her competitor was cut off at the knees —
so to speak – and Tonya took the fall. So to speak.
It’s complicated.

We don’t carry umbrellas when it rains here.
For the most part we don’t jaywalk.
We wear dark clothes on dark days.
Maybe that’s why we forego jaywalking.
On sunny weekends we go hiking in the Gorge.
On rainy weekends we hike faster.
Simple pleasures.

You can wander down most any alley here and find
a micro-brewery or a coffee shop. Or both.
The local newspaper, The Columbian,
(named for the river, not the country)
sported this headline yesterday:
“There’s no reason to struggle to get your coffee fix —
even in the middle of a pandemic.”

We have our priorities, after all.
They are pretty straightforward.
Come visit us sometime, if you can find us.
It’s kind of complicated.

*National Poetry Writing Month, Day 26

About Maggie C

Stained glass artist, writer, respecter of life.
This entry was posted in daily prompt, poetry, Washington and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to The Simple Life

  1. What a sweet invitation. 🙂 And challenging. Is that the Gorge where the concerts are held? Must be glorious. If you ask me, simple life is the best life, even if the directions are complicated.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maggie C says:

      The Gorge Amphitheater is in Washington, but it’s about a 4 1/2 hour drive away. How are you familiar with it? The gorge I refer to in the poem is the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, maintained by the National Forest Service. It’s about a 30 minute drive to where the gorge begins, and it extends for 85 miles along the Columbia River. It’s gorgeous with lots of hiking trails. When you accept my invitation, I can take you there!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sue says:

    That was brilliant! I live three hours north of Spokane. Almost Canada, it’s complicated 😆

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Just Barry says:

    I live in Woodenville, WA, and I loved your poem. You make the complicated sound simple and whimsical.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maggie C says:

      Woodenville… is that where the Spectrum Glass factory was? I toured it years ago and bought way too much glass. Probably still have some of it. I’m glad you liked the poem.


  4. I agree. It doesn’t sound complicated. It flows. Maybe like the Columbia meanders from BC through Washington to the sea. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Eileen B says:

    Liked this one a lot. Like how you tied the story together with the confusion of names, the tagline “It’s complicate” and still hit most of the prompts, 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. memadtwo says:

    A wonderful rendering of your physical and mental location. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Cee Neuner says:

    Living south of Portland (Oregon not Maine) I so totally understand and enjoyed your post. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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