Jewish Life Kolot

KOLOT: Splitting the Second

By Bonnie Thompson Enes

The tiny spider resembles a crab
crawls about my ceiling
forages for food.
Recently there was a black thing
on the ceiling
the size of a pin point
peeking out from behind dust
it inched in her direction.
How nice, I thought,
it must be one of her brood.
Within a flash, the she zapped it
scurried to her web
stuck on for later.

Brought to mind Fred Cat
as we walked out the front door
a bird flew past—
split-second sighting
he caught it on the spring
then flew into the woods.

If seconds before I had done
something different
done anything different
brushed my teeth a second longer
put on tie shoes instead of loafers
taken a sweater out of the closet
blew my nose
the bird would live for another day
but I didn’t.

How do we explain split seconds
not included in the whole seconds
of a planned day—
I get up one morning
iron something to wear
leave dishes in the sink
drive to meet a friend for lunch
and in the driving
someone dead-stops in front of me.

What celestial formations appear
in the night sky
when and where our navigator
stands bent over a chart
decides our daily courses?

Bonnie Thompson Enes of Bloomfield is a poet whose work has appeared in several anthologies and magazines.
Readers are invited to submit original work on a topic of their choosing to Kolot. Submissions should be sent to

Chanukah is the Stuff(ing) of Thanksgiving
B’nai Mitzvah
"Converting to Reform Judaism," by Rabbi Harold S. Silver

Leave Your Reply