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1st Place Poetry Contest Winner! Time is Like Cherry Soup - Grace Downey

This poem is the 1st place winner of the Sad Girls Club's 2023 Spring Poetry Contest.

1 Avian Lover

I sing to the barred owl

and she sings back

and she must know my voice

by its hollow imitation of

melancholy. Every August

we play this game and

I miss her

come crisp autumn October

when she’s found a real mate.

2 Bath House

Shitting properly is

an achievement when

you’re eighty-eight

and a half.

3 Running

The sky has a tender blush today

and the sun is bereft of shadow.

Sleep is the wash cycle of

the great laundromat in my head.

I eat rice cakes and pretend they’re

candy. If I could sustain myself on chalk

alone perhaps I would comprehend

the grief of taste.

I march in cadence

with the frantic heartthrob of poison.


Grace Downey earned a Bachelor’s of English at Indiana University South Bend. Her poetry has appeared in The Oakland Arts Review, Analecta, and The Cape Rock. Her writing thematically explores LGBT issues, feminism, idolatry, and more. She is currently working on an adult fantasy novel about a succubus reclaiming her identity. You can find her on her website,, and also on TikTok and Instagram under the handle @gracedowney404.


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