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2nd Place Fall Poetry Contest: All Is Well - Barbara Sevigny

My daughters are amused their grandmother

is talking to the closet, pacing back and forth,

twisting her hands as if she’s wringing out a

wet towel.


“It’s called sundowning,” I said. Not offering any further explanation.

The sting of the day ending in the reflection

of the window.


Sundowning [a state of confusion

occurring in the late afternoon and

lasting into the night]


Come on, let’s go, let’s go! Clapping my hands

together like she used to do. I only have two.

I can’t imagine having four.  

“Tick tock. Tick tock, girls.”

Homework, choir, soccer practice, and dinner.


What is for dinner?

Do I have enough money to order a pizza?

Taco Tuesday is fine.

When is payday?

Is there gas in the car?

“Do you have your stuff ready for



I want to stop. I need to stop.

She probably needed to stop.


The girls laugh as their grandmother is

looking at the ceiling picking her thoughts like

fruit from a tree, muttering and whispering,

“all is well” over and over.


Spin the sad narrative and maybe she won’t

fall too far.

Who did it?

Who is it?

Who are you?

Who am I?!



This is anything but amusing, but no one here

knows any better.  


The girls grabbing their gear and heading to

the car. “We’re ready, mom!”

Smile so you don’t cry.


I can’t do anything to save her as she falls like

a wounded bird separated from her flock, in

the dark night, alone, with the buzzing,

humming, chirping, snapping, popping and

screeching, I imagine.


What’s for dinner? Oh yeah, Taco Tuesday.


All is well.


Barbara Sevigny enjoys the adventure of finding herself through writing

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1 Comment

Annette Young
Annette Young
Dec 21, 2023

My favorite part was the bird imagery near the end as we journey through with the narrator and can then sense a glimpse of the written portrait presenting the strokes of the poignant analogy.

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