© 2018 Barbara Grace Lake


Such scary tales of women told
Alone at night locked out of cars
Their keys secure inside their van
It’s sadly true, and hardly farce

Not us.  Vacationing away
My mother, Betty Chan and me
Our destination north of home
To great Columbia River see

Along the gorge this river gouged
We traveled east on River Road
Intent to see each waterfall
When stopped we’d hoist our camera load

Our folly happened in full day
Three women bright were locked outside
At Bridal Veil our heedlessness
Found disconnected brains applied

My friend and I with cameras slung
Got out to shoot and chipmunks feed
My mother tired, said she would stay
If only they this choice agreed

Now Mom was left to guard the car
Till Betty came and said “You must”
So out they came with empty hands
And carefully locked up the bus

No one would get our purses there
Nor keys, not one spare billfold set
The cooler full of cokes within
Must now our thirsty throats forget

We left my mom within the shade
And walked 3 miles to Multnomah
We pleaded with the Lodge’s host
To let us place a credit call

Then back we trudged to Bridal Veil
This time in aching footsore pain
A blessed Triple A was there
We turned on cooler air again

And sat, and sat, and sat and sat
Too tired to move, too tired to breathe
My fervent vow from days henceforth
Was carry always keys in sheath

I do not risk outraged dispute
Both culprits in this sorry tale
When called, fond voices can’t be heard
They’ve left on ships, for Heaven sailed

Mom?  Betty?
I hope you’re having a good laugh.