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The boomerang,
by Leonor Henríquez

boomerang Atril press e1706070774596
“…what do you call a boomerang that does not return?…”

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      It’s been chasing me for days.

I throw it to the back of my mind, and it comes back, over and over again.

Today I write about that word that has been plaguing me lately.

It is the word “boomerang”.

I consulted the Royal Academy dictionary, and it gave me this definition:

“Boomerang: throwing weapon, typical of the indigenous people of Australia, formed by a sheet of wood curved in such a way that, when thrown with a rotating movement, it can return to the starting point.”

It is used in many ways, not only as a hunting or entertainment instrument, but also as a metaphor for an action that turns against its author.

Also, in analogies about karma, on which what is offered to the universe, good or bad, comes back, boomerang effect.

Out of curiosity and, well, as a retired engineer that I am, I consulted the physical principle of its operation and I confess that I did not understand anything. A mixture of Newton’s third law with gyroscopic motion. No wonder I failed Mechanics II, occult sciences.

But, the origin of this dissertation was a simple riddle, one of those many that I have fun with my grandchildren.

This time, it occurred to me to say the riddle in the presence of a group of adults.

The question is like this: what do you call a boomerang that does not return?

The faces of the attending scholars, doctors, engineers, and lawyers were transformed into thoughtful expressions.

For seconds, they searched their minds for the answer, until a small childish voice broke the silence.

The innocent and diaphanous reasoning of my seven-year-old grandson Tomas hit the nail on the head.

– Stick – he said.

The adults looked at the child in amazement and had no choice but to burst into laughter.

My friends will never forgive me for this bad joke, but at least it helped get the persistent word out of me.

Yes, a boomerang that does not return is simply that, a stick.

www.atril .press Leonor Henríquez e1670869356570

Leonor Henríquez (Caracas, Venezuela) Civil Engineer by training (UCAB 1985), writer and apprentice poet by vocation. From her time in engineering emerged her Office Stories (1997), another way of seeing the corporate world. Her latest publications include reflections on grief, Hopecrumbs (2020) ( and “The Adventures of Chispita” (2021) ( an allegory of life inside Mom’s belly.
Today she shares her “impulsive meditations” from Calgary, Canada, where she lives.

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