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On a Bustling New York City Street. & Coming in Second. By Ruth Sabath Rosenthal


On a Bustling New York City Street.
a petal fell
by my feet
then another
and another
till a path
of petals
lay before me
and I walked that path
and it led me
to a tree abloom
with flower after
pink flower
and I stood there
looking up
quiet in the pink
of it all



Coming in Second.
Body chilled by years of neglect,
my twin lies in a hospital bed

trying to grasp how she’s come
to this. The sum of my fears,

she’s the one person I dread
I could be, save for some kink

in our link of genetic fiber.
Struggling not to catch her death

of cold, I’ve steered clear of her
notion that our birth was not just

numerical happenstance. Yet,
at times, I find myself more

akin to that than sanity
permits, and though I fall

into the black hole of her undoing,
so far I’ve managed to climb back

out — into the asylum of my life.
Out, according to my twin,

the same way I exited the womb,
climbing over her in order to be first.


Ruth Sabath Rosenthal is as passionate about living in New York City as she is about poetry. She says she finds the Big Apple invigorating and Long Beach, Long Island, her weekend retreat, relaxing to the point of heavenly; that combination of hustle-bustle and total chill makes for the harmony of mind she needs in order to write. Reading and listening to poetry often jumpstarts the creative process for her, too. Sometimes she has classical music playing in the background as she writes — that it somehow helps her focus.

Ruth is also an avid T.V. watcher, claiming that today’s reality shows, with their theatrics and absurdities, are so far from her own reality that they help clear her mind of day-to-day clutter and conflict, thus, allowing her muse, who and whatever that is at the time, to channel through her, to her fingers, to the written page (or more accurately, to her computer’s keyboard.)

Although Ruth started writing late in life, she's had a great appreciation of poetry ever since her mother, one day — out of the blue during a celebratory dinner, surprised everyone by reciting the poem Abou Ben Adhem by Leigh Hunt; that planted the seed, which would eventually blossom into Ruth’s first poem, and the rest is history.

Having been tutored by some fine poets privately and in classes/workshops, Ruth began being published just a few years after she’d started writing poetry. Today, she is well published in the U.S. and, also, internationally. Her body of work includes poems published in a myriad of literary journals and poetry anthologies. In October 2006, Ibbetson Street Magazine nominated her poem “on yet another birthday” for a Pushcart prize and several of her poems have won commendation in competitions: The Margaret Reid Poetry Contest for Traditional Verse (2008) and The Tom Howard Poetry Contest (2007).

Additionally, Ruth has authored five books of poetry: Finishing Line Press published her debut book — a chapbook titled "Facing Home", and Paragon Poetry Press, Inc. published the four full-length books: "Facing Home and beyond", "little but by no means small", "Food: Nature vs. Nurture and "Gone, but Not Easily Forgotten".

She is currently working on a sixth book — the working title is "Safe ‘n Sound (or Maybe Not)". Please visit Ruth's websites (http://newyorkcitypoet.com and http://bigapplepoet.com) and blog (http://poetrybyruthsabathrosenthal.com).