vanilla shake
Sister, Dearest
by Ruth Sabath Rosenthal

Vanilla milk shake, chocolate chip cookies,
Chocolate Kisses, Peanut-butter cups,
Nonpareils: I feel — no — need to, eat

those sweets you craved. So, I shop
my local supermarket, whip up
the shake, arrange the other confections

on an ornate serving plate, on this
the 1st anniversary of your death;
and I eat those foods you would have

yet I do not savor a morsel. But,
not to worry, dearest, for next year,
same date, I’ll do this again, and maybe,

just maybe, I’ll find it easier to
enjoy what you most surely would have,
if only I’d realized there was no time

left, as I held your hand and watched
American Idol while you morphed into what-
ever it is one becomes in death.

photo of twin baby girls,1 Ruth & Renee
PHOTO: Twin sisters Ruth and Renee at age one.


Ruth Sabath Rosenthal
 is a New York poet, well published in the U.S. and internationally. Her poem “on yet another birthday” was nominated for a Pushcart prize. Ruth has authored five books of poetry: Facing Home (a chapbook), Facing Home and beyond, little, but by no means small, Food: Nature vs Nurture, and Gone, but Not Easily — all available from Amazon. Please feel free to visit Ruth’s website:

Author photo courtesy