Detours Poem by Ralph Monday


Rounding the curve, halted by the SUV’s
emergency blinkers winking like some
Dis tower, I fell obediently in line as a
first grader in the cafeteria.

Head on collision, the officer said,
before directing me to the detour
ahead. Passing the crumpled car,
front shoved in like a monkey playing
accordion, I noticed the blanket covered
form loaded like a cord of wood
into an ambulance.

This one on a final detour from Sunday
morning church. But aren’t we all on
deviations, diversions?

Through the rain, the mist, the mountain
road, around one bend & an Amish
horse & buggy clattered on asphalt.
What detours awaited that black capsule?

Who could know. Detours.
Bypasses in time like a train switching

If I had detoured from the first love,
where would the train have taken me?
Not that moment, so not this minute.
Daughters instead of sons.
Dogs instead of cats.


What about your sidetrack?
you would have married
another & never went with
your wife to find her brother
three weeks dead sprawled in the
doorway halfway between the
bathroom & bedroom. You never
forgot the smell.

Or your sister who lost her rosary &
became a whore not a nun &
never met the suicide she would
have saved.


Like the Amish above who swerved
away from the 21st century, zigged instead
of zagged, found themselves in a 19th
century wormhole so that I would spy
them on this Sunday detour on a road with
many curves.

Ralph Monday is Professor of English at RSCC in Harriman, TN. Hundreds of poems published. Books: All American Girl and Other Poems, 2014. Empty Houses and American Renditions, 2015. Narcissus the Sorcerer, 2015. Bergman’s Island & Other Poems, 2021, The Book of Appalachia 2023, and a humanities text, 2018. Member Lincoln Memorial University Literary Hall of Fame. Twitter @RalphMonday Poets&Writers

Hollywood Woman A Poem by Sara L Russell 18th March 2023

She has had an illustrious lifestyle
and many well-earned accolades;
donates to some causes quite worthwhile
she has gongs and awards now, in spades.

Her mansion’s been featured in Tatler
in Mode Avantgarde and OK;
She’s been called a trooper and a battler
and she always has plenty to say.

But her face is a bone of contention
it is fixed in a permanent grin
from a facelift hauled too tight to mention
and too much Botox in her skin,

And her lips, in an unnatural rictus,
have a top lip that sticks out too far,
Yet she boasts how her surgeon could fix us
if we weren’t as poor as we are.

She goes to cafés with her ladies
all from the same era as she;
and their pooches are treated like babies
and given fresh truffles for tea;

And when she is smiling or laughing
The waiters recoil in sheer fright
For her terrible grin leaves them gasping
She’s like a cobra poised to bite;

and some of her friends look like harpies
and some of them look like vampires
and their eyeliner’s drawn on with sharpies
and they drink to lost loves and desires;

But they carry on laughing regardless
For they clothes-shop at Rodeo Drive;
They are diamonds of high grade and hardness,
though they look to be barely alive.


Sara L Russell aka pinkyandrexa

Sara Louise Russell, aka PinkyAndrexa, is a UK poet and poetry ezine editor, specialising particularly in sonnets, lyric-style poetry and occasionally writing in more modern styles. She founded Poetry Life & Times and edited it from 1998 to 2006, when she handed it over to Robin Ouzman Hislop and Amparo Arrospide; Robin now runs it as Editor from Poetry Life & Times at this site.  Her poems and sonnets have been published in many paper and online publications including Sonnetto Poesia, Mindful of Poetry and Autumn Leaves a monthly Poetry ezine from the late Sondra Ball. Her sonnets also currently appear in the recently published anthology of sonnets Phoenix Rising from the Ashes. She is also one of the first poets ever to be published on multimedia CD ROMs, published by Kedco Studios Inc.; the first one being Pinky’s Little Book of Shadows, which was featured by the UK’s national newspaper The Mirror, in October 1999. (Picture link for Mirror article) Angel Fire. And the 2024 AI version of The Perils of Norris cartoon, by Sara L Russell using Canva Pro AI, Episode 1. The Perils of Norris featured from this site Poetry Life and Times