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Four Minutes

Something Rare Challenge

By Penny FullerPublished about a year ago 1 min read

The neon green numbers

on the clock by her bedside

flash five thirty-two.

For her, it is always


And I am a baby- and not

The mother of her grandchildren.

So I sit, loving stranger, answering her questions

About my aunts and uncles

As they were in their twenties

And only hear my name paired with diaper rashes and fussy nights.

When the clock hits five forty-seven,

A window opens inside her prison of dementia.

She calls me by my name

And asks about her grandchildren

And my husband

And my siblings and their spouses.

I fumble for my phone,

Hurrying to show her pictures,

To tell her of violin lessons and broken toes

And mention, as each topic passes

That we love her

That we are here for her.

The clock ticks with the backbeat of hospital equipment,

Scoring the countdown before the window closes once again.

At five fifty-one

I must once again introduce myself

And hear how she has a baby

With the same name.

Who can never sleep through the night.

sad poetry

About the Creator

Penny Fuller

(Not my real name)- Other Labels include:

Lover of fiction writing and reading. Aspiring global nomad. Woman in science. Most at home in nature. Working my way to an unconventional life, story by story and poem by poem.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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Comments (2)

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  • Heather Hublerabout a year ago

    This is beautiful and tragic, both. Demential and cancer are awful diseases and my heart goes out to you and your mom. I have experienced both of these in my own family. Lovely work :)

  • Loryne Andaweyabout a year ago

    Oh. My heart goes out to you. Though she may not remember you it's clear she remembers how much she loves you. Take care.

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