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  • Writer's pictureRuth Samuel Tenenholtz

Poetry, prose, and other words

I wrote my first prize-winning essay when I was in sixth grade. The story was published in the local paper, and I received a book about two children from Africa who had amazing adventures. The book had commemorated this momentous event, and my mother kept it on her bookshelf until she died. I had already moved on to another country and another language. First, while living in America, I picked up English and felt at home in that language, and then, when we came to Israel, I borrowed its language to write my stories. All three are still with me and I am free to live in one of them at my whim.


I threw a stone

in the water and

watched the ripples dance

a pirouette of grace

when fleetingly I left my mark upon

the stoic surface of the wet domain

where mermaids dwell and sirens sing

then the ripples moved beyond my reach

and where the stone had been

there was no memory

and those far ripples did not know

whence they had come

(From Building Blocks (1992: Tammuz Tel Aviv Page 22)

I still love that poem, even though I wrote it so long ago. There are words that stay with you. Sometimes they chase you and you try to escape them, and at others, they walk with you a mile and keep you company.

My suggestion for today is to always have a pebble in your pocket in case you need to make an impact.

Ruth Samuel Tenenholtz

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