Postcard to Hugo in Port Townsend

You live in a time when a poet can say This is my soul, the salmon rolling in the strait and salt air loaded with cream. Can say take others by the hand: we are called people. 2016? No way. Not your fish. Not your air. Nobody’s just people. I want a guide but the one I’ve got’s blacklisted. I want to read by candlefish. My Kindle’s busted.

map of the region / finger points/ swipe land. —N.

Nancy Pagh is the author of three poetry collections (including the chapbook After from Floating Bridge Press), a scholarly book about women traveling the Northwest Coast by boat, and Write Moves: A Creative Writing Guide & Anthology. Her poem in this issue of Pontoon was created for The Poetry Marathon and is one of 24 poems written as postcard/haibun responses to the famous “letter poems” of Richard Hugo. “Postcard to Hugo in Port Townsend” responds to “Postcard to Wagoner from Port Townsend.” Nancy teaches at Western Washington University in Bellingham. Find her online at

Photo by Caleb George.

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