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

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