Authors and Poets
Authors and Poets

Photos used with permission from the Academy of American Poets

Last updated:
September 5, 2018
Lori M. Cameron, editor

The Billionth Notch – Edward Nudelman

Along the line that circles time
You’ll find the notches metered out
The dawn and dusk of dark and light
The height and breadth of all you see
Upon the line you sit somewhere
A blink a breath a billionth one
Upon that notch you sit and stare
Behind before up front ahead
A couple notches down the line
That’s all you ever get to see
How can I explain that line to you
That when it rains it rained before
Or when you cry you cried before
That when you sketched or whistled tune
With canvass paper pen and pipe
And colors merged and meters rhymed
That when you sang you sang no more
And when you finally got it right
You painted one and painted all
The billionth notch upon the line
Diminished then, diminished now
Along the line that circles time.


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