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.