What is This Poem? (The Secret Heart)

October 23, 2009

A heart with a line drawn around it.Several years ago after my son passed away I found a poem in his school papers. I lost the poem and have searched the internet and can't find it and hope someone in our community can help me find it again. I feel pretty sure that my son didn't write it.


It was about a father coming home from work late and the son pretending to be asleep. The father lights a match to see the son's face and he has the match inside his cupped hands, it creates a lit up heart out of his hands.

Can anyone help me find this poem please?

By Virginia from Brownsville, OR


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October 23, 20090 found this helpful
Best Answer

Hi Virginia,

I have found the poem you are looking for:

The Secret Heart
by Robert P. Tristram Coffin

Across the years he could recall
His father one way best of all.

In the stillest hour of night
The boy awakened to a light.

Half in dreams, he saw his sire
With his great hands full of fire.

The man had struck a match to see
If his son slept peacefully.

He held his palms each side the spark
His love had kindled in the dark.

His two hands were curved apart
In the semblance of a heart.


He wore, it seemed to his small son,
A bare heart on his hidden one,

A heart that gave out such a glow
No son awake could bear to know.

It showed a look upon a face
Too tender for the day to trace.

One instant, it lit all about,
And then the secret heart went out.

But it shone long enough for one
To know that hands held up the sun.

I hope this is the same one.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
October 23, 20090 found this helpful

Barbara, Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart, you have no idea how much this means to me. Yes, that is the poem I have been searching for. You are an angel for responding to my request!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 180 Feedbacks
October 27, 20090 found this helpful

You are just the sweetest person to help her. May God bless and keep you. Sherri

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
October 27, 20090 found this helpful

I'm so glad you found it!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 119 Feedbacks
October 27, 20090 found this helpful

Barbara I too am so glad that you found the poem - reading the poem brought tears to these old eyes thank you!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
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