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


Wisdom of a sunflower


Her face follows the sun

an anchor of light, trusted to lead while she grew

a warmth of reassurance when her sight was lost

from darkness. A seed born with the knowing

yet unable to realize until the day of blossoming.

She held it all along. Resolve of love, strength to push

through the compacted soil of failure, to stretch

when trampled, to believe in the next dawn

while she remained in the shadow of night.

© Ali Grimshaw 2018 – photo taken on a roadtrip in Spain

“Like sunflowers that stop tracking the sun as they mature, we too begin to respond differently to life as we age. We learn to brave more parts of the day with our heads turned away from the sun, because we realize that we can only know who we are if we let the sun shine behind us and allow it to draw our shadow in front of us, so that we may see how we are really shaped

We begin to realize how even darkness has its gifts, and how even if we don’t always bask in the light, we can survive.” – When Sunflowers Stop Following The Sun

I was inspired to write this poem after reading this thoughtful article.  Never underestimate the power of sharing with careful words.


National Poetry Month 2018

Dwelling Place


Inside the conversation of contribution

my favorite place to dwell

walls like soft bubble gum that can expand

with the breath of new ideas

to watch you poke, prod, punch

a fist through the wall

on your face the surprised realization

of the awe-filled fluidity, stretched elastic

boundaries you once believed to be walls of stone.

How a soft blow, like cooling off your tea too hot

can open up a whole new room. High rounded ceilings

with space to grow into.

© Alicia Grimshaw 2018

My favorite place to be is inside a coaching conversation listening for another’s dreams. This was a tough idea to capture in a photo. Photo Challenge: Favorite Place 





Sending a package

I will write you blue sky

sunlight on yellow flowers.

I will write you a single snowflake

magnified in all its delicate brilliance.

I will write you a cocoon of comfort

a blanket of love you have never known

a full envelope, arriving on the wind, for the day

you need it most.

© Alicia Grimshaw 2016


Photo taken on a family trip to Italy 2016.



Before I walk away,

returning to a new season of my life,

let’s rewind this journey for one

last view. The thrills, near misses,

and countless conversations melted together,

making me the true color I have become.

Wherever I am

is your home

to come back to.

© Alicia Grimshaw


Without you

he will be an island that I cannot reach

an evolving door

a language untranslatable.

You are the bridge, an extension

carrying my voice to him.

Without you

will the connection be severed?

Just a recorded message

at the other end.

This line is now disconnected.

© Ali Grimshaw

Discovery Challenge – Connection



What is Left of You

The running shoes you left behind
positioned like you evaporated from them
angled as if deserted mid-step
have me wondering
were you ready
to move on to an unknown life

stuffing skills and memories in a backpack
experiences overflowing from unzipped pockets
your back receding into the distance
I have learned the answer to
Are you ever ready?

© Ali Grimshaw