A Poem for Portland

P. D. X.

Housing prices rise

People wave cardboard signs

Rose Gardens and zoos

Small parks and views

Hiking trails and bike lanes

Blankets wrapping the insane

Smells of coffee and bread

A man makes the landmark his bed

Pioneer Courthouse Square

We enjoy the Oregon air

Explore the city by day

Stay off the streets by night

What a pretty city that has visitors every day

I still don’t know…why anyone would stay




I used to live in Portland a few years ago. I have since returned and am seeing the city in a new light. As a young professional it is hard to see myself living here long term with the housing prices rising and the ever-present insanity of people I see on the street. Most neighborhoods that I have friends in are unsafe to walk at night and places like the library and a coffee shop have without warning become bedlam with people bursting in screaming, yelling profanities and pitching tents outside.

Maybe Portland is for you and I have offended you with some of these verses. My goal with this poem was not to offend but merely to express what I see: a city beautiful with parks and lots of potential, but also with an ugly and chaotic side. I aim to trudge through this next year here and then move away for good.

Thank you for reading.


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