Exclusive Meg Wiviott Poems!

paper-hearts-9781481439831_lgYARN’s poetry editor, Kip Wilson Rechea, recently met Meg Wiviott at a weekend at Vermont College of Fine Arts, where she had the opportunity to hear Meg read from “Paper Hearts,” a gorgeous verse novel that packs an heavy emotional punch.  Kirkus Review had the following to say about the book: “An incredible story, told with respect and love, this deserves a wide readership.” We hope YARN readers enjoy this exclusive sneak peek! 


Mach schnell!
Herded into line.
Staying close together.
Mama led the way,
        Lazaro at her hip,
        Necha’s left hand on his shoulder,
        Necha’s right hand glued to mine.

To the left.

To the right.

Mama’s eyes locked on mine.
Words unspoken.

Mama knew.
Take care of your sister.

I knew.
I will.

Where are we going, Mama?
        Lazaro asked.
Mama smiled.
My eyes stung.
How could she smile?
How could she be so brave?
You and I are going to meet Tata and Isser,
        she said.
Necha pulled against my embrace.
I want to see Tata and Isser, too.
No, Mama’s voice like cold wind.
Stay with Zlatka.

Mama’s arms around us all.
A whispered blessing,
            May God bless you and keep you.
            May God shine His face upon you
            and grant you graciousness.
            May Gods presence be with you
            and grant you peace.

Those words,
same words
whispered by Tata every Shabbat.

A soldier between us.

Mama and Lazaro to the left.

Necha and I to the right.
Mama! Necha screamed.
Come, Necha.
I led my sister away
my voice calm
as if someone else were speaking.

Image © clarie_h (flickr.com)

Image © clarie_h (flickr.com)



Upwind from the chimneys
blue sky hung like a promise
in the air.

Bronia, Guta, Giza,
Fania, and I
held hands in the unexpected

It was easy to remember
the way life used to be —
the way life should be —
the way life could be —

I lifted my hand to the sky
towards the horizon.
Spring fluttered
warm and gentle
through my fingers
radiating to the others
a wave of hope
a current of belief
that this would not go on

Three other girls
holding hands
walked past us
towards the
shadow of the chimneys.

On the beautiful blue sky day
when hope hung like
cotton ball clouds
one girl lifted her hand to the fence
towards the signs that warned
Achtung! Lebensgefahr!

Death rippled
through her fingers
radiated to the others.
A wave.
A current.
The end.


MegMeg Wiviott grew up in New Jersey. She was a history major at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and earned a Master’s in Education from Northwestern University. Meg graduated with an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from The Vermont College of Fine Arts in July 2011. She lives in New Jersey with her husband and a ridiculously friendly cat. They have two grown children. Meg is the author of the award winning picture book “Benno and the Night of Broken Glass.” “Paper Hearts” is her first novel for young adults.


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One Comments Post a Comment
  1. Meg wiviott says:

    Thank you for featuring PAPER HEARTS!

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