Governed by this invisible measurement—

manifested in growth and decay

of what and whom we hold dear—

we trudge across its face

day after day after day

with no breakage nor acceleration,

its smooth surface accounting

for its predictability.


The conspirators were interrupted by one:

Their careful plot against Caesar’s life

stacked up against the reality

of what they hoped to accomplish—

to free the world from an ambitious ruler,

only to discover

that ambition was their own.


Huckleberry Finn marveled at one:

though broken and useless,

the tick-tocking initiated pleasure

in a boy unaccustomed to

rule and order

and family rooms.


Jay Gatsby nearly broke one:

the recognition that what he so desperately sought

for five long years

standing before him—

his voice, her voice dripping with money.


The Rent cast measured their lives by one:

five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes

to squeeze out every ounce of living

until not even one drop remains.


This prominent role

will never be cut,

its lines never censored,


so from his vigilant perch in the sky,

the timekeeper never sleeps…


but you will soon.


Marci Klayder Gibbens


Marci Klayder Gibbens is a high school English teacher in Olathe, Kansas and has been writing poetry for two years. Her poem “Symbiosis” was published in the December 2022 issue of American Diversity Report. She earned degrees from Taylor University (B.S. Secondary English Education) and Emporia State University (M.S. Curriculum & Instruction, MLS School Library Media) and is currently pursuing her MFA in poetry through Lindenwood University


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