It happens sometimes

That I look up at the clock

Just when the second hand

Pauses between one tick

And another

So that everything seems to stand still

In that moment

And I have enough time

To wonder

If the clock has not stopped.

It is amazing how much

Can go through your mind

From one second to the next.


And while clearly

A life cannot be lived

In such a pause,

Requiring time

To stretch itself out,

Memory can,

Requiring no more

Than a spark of light

To give a sign

That contains the whole.


by Fred Skolnik


The Second Hand was first published in Oak Bend Review, vol. 1, Issue 4, Jan.-Feb. 2009. Fred Skolnik’s novel The Other Shore (Aqueous Books) has recently appeared and I have published stories in TriQuarterly, Minnetonka Review, Los Angeles Review, Prism Review, Gargoyle, Literary House Review, Words & Images, Third Coast, Polluto, Underground Voices, etc.

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