Ruth Sabath Rosenthal; A Changing Heart & A Box, Full

A Changing Heart

Longing for heart-quiet

in the inevitable fall

into Winter’s short days of sun

forwarding to Spring’s

longer days — a circling back

in the sameness of time.


Heart-and-mind-numbing time

with no respite. A longing to quiet  

those thoughts playing back

battle after battle. The awful

repetition. Mind and life wasting.

And, in the darkest season,


the conviction that the sun

will only half-rise in this lifetime

of mine. Feeling that sting

as from a bee’s disquiet

of green slumber. Swelling to a fault,

every damned day. Slamming me back,


season upon season. Holding me back.

Chilling me with doubt that sun-

shine can overcome rainfall

and that, invariably, given time,

better times will come and quietly

advance into Spring. Fast forward, past Spring

to Summer, and onto Fall springing

back to Winter, and round again. Flashbacks

ever more glaring under the sun, then, quite

out of the blue — a glance, a nod. Overrun

with fluttering, my heart paces in time

with fledging love’s free-fall.


And, with the passing of another Fall,

Winter heralds in the sweetest of Springs:

daffodils and Easter bonnets — a lifetime

of celebration ahead, no looking back.

Past risk and reason, I bask in the sun

that is love’s shine. Rain or shine, quiet


in the peace of it all, Fall after Fall, back

to Winter, Spring, Summer. Quiet as a Spring sun

bursting through clouds. Love, for all time, requited.


A Box, Full

of photos — a glaring paper trail of a failed marriage —

the snapshots (first) locked away (intact) during

the legal separation — the wife having learned that


her husband, a shrink, had a love life outside their bed-

room, in an adjacent room (sound-proofed, but alas,

not fool-proofed!).  A room he had the gall to call office,


on a couch on which she heard tell he had many women

going nuts for him, including, it’s since come to light,

a patient or two. One such paramour, who became wife


#2, surely would’ve needed more patience married to him,

had she not divorced him, too, one would think. During

that legal separation, perhaps she, too,


had reconfigured her family photos, as wife #1 did:

With a cuticle scissor, taking great pains not to nip

the children, she’d cut out the soon-to-be ex’s heads


and flushed them down the toilet, leaving the children

smiling up at hole-after-hole-for-a-face.

After the divorce, she’d cut his bodies out, tossing them


in a trash bin (along with an envelope full of negatives) —

the children left leaning on a slew of missing

father figures.


And, like wife #1, it’s likely that wife #2 also suspects

there’s a poop-load of similarly doctored photos buried

deep in a score of women’s drawers — evidence


the psycho-shrink has been, one way or another,

fully eliminated.  



RUTH SABATH ROSENTHAL is a New York poet, well published in the U.S. and, also, internationally. In October 2006, her poem “on yet another birthday” was nominated for a Pushcart prize by Ibbetson Street Press. Ruth has authored five books of poetry: “Facing Home” – “Facing Home and beyond” – “little, but by no means small” – “Food: Nature vs Nurture” and “Gone, but Not Easily Forgotten.” 

For more about Ruth visit her websites:  and  and her blog site:  

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