Journey Gone Askew

She picked one of the two.
Not her roots in rural life,
golden brick road more tempting.
Drove it to wealth,
fancy home in fancy heights
prestige, black tie events.

Ignored the signs.
Exit ramps,
detours available,
this way outs.
Drove and drove,
hard and harder.

Too late she realized,
the road she picked?
Sadly a dead-end street.

I’m hosting Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. I’m asking folks to choose one adage/proverb from a list I provide, and use it as their inspiration for their poem today. The list includes adages from Aesop’s Fables, Adagia, Poor Richard’s Almanack, the Bible. I also provide one line from a movie, which is the line this poem is inspired by: “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.” Forrest Gump, the movie.

Join us at 3 PM Boston time to see the full list. Then write your poem and post it so we can enjoy together! Image from

35 thoughts on “Journey Gone Askew

  1. Ron. February 22, 2022 / 1:58 pm

    And the worst part of it is always those few split seconds just before the end when you look around and think, “Uh-ohhhhh…”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) February 22, 2022 / 2:11 pm

    On the other hand, you mostly find good things in a box of chocolate… and there are those pieces that are devilishly dangerous. I think there were many warning signs before she reached that dead end.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 22, 2022 / 3:18 pm

      Interestingly enough….this poem was inspired by the adage and a real life situation. Sadly, the person ignored the options available and ended with disaster. Life’s choices – may we all make wise ones or at the very least, recognize when an alternative or adjustment is needed.


  3. sanaarizvi February 22, 2022 / 3:08 pm

    This is gorgeously rendered, Lillian! I think all choices come with consequences .. some good and some bad .. we just need to trust our gut 💝💝


    • lillian February 22, 2022 / 3:19 pm

      ….and, when the situation calls for it, make adjustments along the way.


  4. msjadeli February 22, 2022 / 3:18 pm

    She went where she wanted to go but then realized it wasn’t where she wanted to be. Hoping she’s not on a one-way street and has reverse gear on her car. Either that or a helicopter!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 22, 2022 / 3:20 pm

      Loved your comment here. I do believe, even after choices are made, the wise person knows when to make adjustments.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Ain February 22, 2022 / 4:12 pm

    Ahhh…you give me hope! …But really, how so very true, how so very quickly I have seen some who have chosen that very same road arrive with a bruising bump…really good verse there…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Glenn A. Buttkus February 22, 2022 / 4:48 pm

    I, too, have spent considerable in reverse, attempting to find another way. My decade-long career as an actor became a dead end, but I must say I enjoyed the sights along the way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 22, 2022 / 4:55 pm

      Knowing you from the pub, Glenn….I would always expect you to enjoy the sights along the way….and to make the adjustments as needed. As we age, we just need to adjust our expectations and ideas of what is our “normal” 🙂


  7. rothpoetry February 22, 2022 / 6:50 pm

    Such a true Hollywood tragedy! Well done, Lillian.


    • lillian February 23, 2022 / 12:25 pm

      It really is….I’d even say, it’s all about the choices – plural. As in, one choice made but be aware and willing to take a different route, adjust, etc.


  8. Carol Congalton February 22, 2022 / 7:54 pm

    She certainly chose a ‘hard-centered’ chocolate! Bit off more than she could chew sadly. :[

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 23, 2022 / 12:25 pm

      Love your comment relating back to the Gump line itself!


    • lillian February 23, 2022 / 12:26 pm

      Yep…..awareness is necessary and the recognition that once a choice is made, it’s really on a continuum or decision tree….as in, branching off to other decisions from it might be the wise way rather than simply pushing forward.


  9. Gillena Cox February 23, 2022 / 9:19 am

    Interestingly inspired.
    Nice one

    Much love


  10. Mary Nilsen February 23, 2022 / 9:57 am

    Dear Lillian,

    This is going to sound so sophomoric and shows how little I know about poetry, but I read the below poem as it comes in the email, and then I go onto the site and read it with the lines carefully broken for rhythm and emphasis and I experience the gift of poetry and you as a poet in ways I might not if I just read it on the website. I know. Totally obvious. But that’s the stage I’m at re: poetry. Thanks for being my mentor.

    We drove to Tallassee last weekend—breaking up the 7 hr. Drive by spending the night on both ends of the trip in St. Petersburg with Roy’s sister. The trip was a mistake re: Roy’s body—especially his back, but it was so wonderful to see Mary in her context. She is such a gem. I’ll attach a picture and also, if I can find it, a piece she wrote for her senior project in high school.

    Hope all is well. We have just a week left here and then back home. Hope all is well with you and George.

    Hugs, Mary


    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian February 23, 2022 / 12:31 pm

      We have just two weeks left in San Diego. And Boston is expecting 6 to 12 inches of snow this weekend, after predicted 60 degree high today. Old Man Winter is certainly a curmudgeon! Really battles to keep Spring out of the gates!
      Yes…..sometimes reading a post on the phone doesn’t get the feeling or meaning since the spacing isn’t often there. That’s free verse for you! Will email you about this post. 🙂


  11. Helen Dehner February 23, 2022 / 1:27 pm

    Really enjoyed this, Lillian … cannot stop thinking about Thelma and Louise now for some inexplicable reason. Enjoy the remaining weeks of your glorious holiday.


    • lillian February 24, 2022 / 12:09 pm

      Thelma and Louise….now that’s an insight into the situation!


  12. kaykuala February 23, 2022 / 2:23 pm

    the road she picked?
    Sadly a dead-end street.

    Some people have all the luck but some others are luckless. So be it! Such is life!



    • lillian February 24, 2022 / 12:09 pm

      Yep….and I do think it’s important to recognize that even after a choice is made, there is often changes that can be made.


  13. Wise Hearted February 23, 2022 / 5:14 pm

    Thank God there is usually do overs and side streets and if that is not working then, take what comes and learn from it.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Tzvi Fievel February 23, 2022 / 7:46 pm

    “Ignored the signs.”
    Reminds me of hearing my conscience speak,
    yet, not listening. Always, regret for not
    taking good advice. Live and learn.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. paeansunplugged February 25, 2022 / 2:48 pm

    Oh! This does happen at times. Some situations don’t turn out as we wish them to.


  16. areadingwriter March 4, 2022 / 4:38 am

    totally into how you build this up with punctuations, pauses, and enjambments. really really palpable, the emotions also. thank you, Lillian, for this prompt.


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