Heidi Stephens

contributor to 3 posters

  • Patches of Garden


    Patches of Garden

    This poem was inspired by gardening I did last summer and by the gardens of other people in the neighborhood. I decided to put some flowers in my front yard, and I was also taking walks through the neighborhood, looking at what other people had done with their gardens, and appreciating those efforts.

    I live on the North Side. So I went to Hafner's, in North Syracuse, and picked out plants and cleaned up the yard a bit. I'm a renter, and that's something that renters don't often do. Afterwards I started realizing how much of a difference it makes in a neighborhood when people keep things clean and orderly, even if you're not in the most beautiful home. You're doing a service to the community by taking care of your own little patch of ground.

  •  St. Patrick Parades


    St. Patrick Parades

    At the Syracuse St. Patrick's Parade, everyone can be considered “Syracuse Irish.” For that you don't need a trace of actual Irish ancestry. You just need to have experienced life in Central New York, especially its long, snowy winters. The pipe bands and Irish dancers pay tribute to our Irish heritage and the settlers who labored in the salt industry and on the Eric Canal and helped build this city. But the parade is also a celebration of the coming spring. We wear green, eager for the return of green leaves and a new cycle of growth, all of us celebrating that we have made it through another winter together.

  • North Side Madonna


    North Side Madonna

    This poem is about a statue on the corner of 2nd North and Court streets. I often drive or walk past the statue. I have a great affection for it.

    One day, as I was walking by, I noticed that the right hand of the Christ child was gone, and I found something unsettling and moving about that. I first thought, “Who would break the hand off of Baby Jesus?” Then I started thinking about it in a symbolic way, too, because the statue speaks for different aspects of the North Side.

    It's a landmark, a reminder of the Catholic presence on the North Side, and the sign of the disrepair that's so common today. And then I was also thinking of it in terms of mothers and children affected by violence and poverty, and the potential that exists in the children despite it all.