Take the First Exit to the Right: A poem for Parents


As you drive down the road of your day

I see you in a large convertible with your top down,

backseat sandwiched full of children.

In front of you, several large cargo trucks with unsecured loads,

packed quickly without care. The disbelief of it all.

You are following without another lane to change into.

I see you, white knuckled, hold on the steering wheel

as odd boxes and papers, like a flock, fly

toward your windshield to temporarily block your view.

Colliding with objects occasionally airborne.

You swerving with the responsibility of sheltering

your children from harm. All while they chatter

and throw questions at you from the rear seat.

A sensory whirlwind of sounds, movement and colors to navigate

as you drive. I see you seeking the stable horizon with your eyes,

to recenter, as events drop and plans bounce away. Readjusting

in the moment, with care, cussing and sometimes crying. Facing

the cracked windshield of the past week. Hair in your eyes, yet determined

to be all you can for your young ones. Your eyes are heavy with sleep.

I just want you to know that I have an empty garage.

Take the next exit to the right.

Yes, I can, and will shelter you for the night.

© Ali Grimshaw 2020

Dedicated to all of the parents navigating during COVID19. Remember to pull over and take breaks.

dVerse Open Link Night 

World Health Organization – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: Healthy Parenting


27 thoughts on “Take the First Exit to the Right: A poem for Parents

  1. We’ve all had to adjust to changes that have left us shaking with disbelief and shock. In order to survive and bring calm to chaos, we have to make changes. Then we breathe. And breathe again. Then go on living closing out the horrors of the world so that we can get through each day. Your words, Ali, struck home deeply. (((HUGS)))!! xo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I struggle to help my daughter who is pregnant and fearful that she will have to give birth a month early due to a medical condition. Her husband has a medical condition that puts him at greater risk should he contract Covid-19. They are in self-isolation. Her 2 year old is joyfully unaware of all that is going on.

    As a mother and a grandmother, your poem brings great comfort to my heart. Thank you.

    And thank you for your wonderful session yesterday. I came away feeling inspired and uplifted. ❤

    My blog this morning was somewhat inspired by, the thread.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Louise,
      I am so sorry to hear of your daughter’s situation that must be a challenge to hold in your thoughts right now. Having the 2 year old can be a joyful distraction.
      I appreciate hearing that our writing circle yesterday left you feeling inspired and uplifted. It was such a joy to write with you. Can I use you comment on my next offering? I am setting up a 5 week online writing series today. So stay tuned. I would love to have you join me.
      I am heading to your blog now to see what you shared. Take good care of your heart and health.


    1. Thanks colleen. I am grateful to be well. I have started online poetry workshops to help others process their thoughts through writing and I’m looking forward to setting up more. Looking for ways to support others. Thank you for your continual words of hope. Take good care.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow. As a grandparent, I appreciate the imagery your post evokes…of times in my past. I watch my children today as they navigate these times for themselves…as well as for and with their children. Very well done, dear Ali. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.