Precious Seconds

A single second—only one,

“one one-thousand”—that is all.

And in that space, a race is won,

a hawk strikes, a dove falls;

the rain begins, the drought is done,

the atom splits, the future calls.


Time enough to say, “I do,”

and seal a love against the fates;

or, beseeching, “I love you,”

regardless of the vow that breaks.

A falling star fades from view,

the night swallows fire it makes.


A button’s pushed, a bomb drops;

a final suture—healing starts.

A tiger dies when gun pops,

a muttered utterance breaks a heart.

A midwife cries, “Push, don’t stop,”

and in that time, a life embarks.


Cars crash, a bone breaks,

a cat jumps and milk is spilled.

In the little time that takes

an addict takes a deadly pill.

A spirit reaches open gates,

leaving dust upon the hill.




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