Heartsongs, Poems by Mattie Stepanek

Twelve-year-old

Mattie Stepanek started writing poetry at the age of 3, in part to help him cope with the effects of a rare form of muscular dystrophy. Following are poems from his two published collections.

9-11-2001

It was a dark day in America. There was no amazing grace. Freedom did not ring. Tragedy attacked sky-high. Fiery terror reigned. Structures collapsed. Red with blood, white with ash, And out-of-the-sky blue. As children trust elders, Citizens find faith in leaders. But they were all blinded, Shocked by the blasts. Undefiable outrage. Undeniable outpouring Of support, even prayer, Or at least, moments of silence. Church and State Could not be separated. A horrific blasting of events With too few happy endings. Can the children sleep Safely in their beds tonight? Can the citizens ever rest Assured of national security again? God, please, bless America… And the rest of our earthly home.

Excerpted from Journey Through Heartsongs, by Mattie J.T. Stepanek, Copyright © Sept. 2001. Published by VSP Books/Hyperion.

Making Real Sense of the Senses

Our eyes are for looking at things, But they are also for crying When we are very happy or very sad. Our eyes are for listening. But so are our hearts. Our noses are for smelling food But also the wind and the grass and If we try very hard, butterflies. Our hands are for feeling. But also for hugging and touching so gently. Our mouths and tongues are for tasting. But also for saying words, like "I love you," and "Thank you God, for all of these things."

Excerpted from Heartsongs, by Mattie J.T. Stepanek, Copyright © Sept. 2001. Published by VSP Books/Hyperion.

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