Listen to this article

Writing  by Declan Toth

Founders’ note: Not everyone is born with the ability to use their voice. Not everyone can easily communicate their thoughts, feelings, hopes and dreams. On this page, we’re giving non speaking people in our community the opportunity to be heard. The authors are students at Mouth to Hand Learning Center in Mount Kisco. You can read about Mouth to Hand in the article “Force of Nature.”

Istand and watch the tides

And do not move with them.

I am battered by waves of hatred

and fear 

and derision.

I do not bend.

The storm of failure looms out at sea.

It is dark and turbulent.

It threatens to pull me into the roiling,

seething sea…

But I am not afraid.

There was a time when the storm of failure

filled me with fear.

I was drowning in the waves that crashed

over me in a crescendo of self-doubt and the

horror of complete and absolute aloneness.

I was alone in the black storm.

So so alone


Bolstered by beauty

Hardened by hope

I see and am seen.


I am courage.

Author’s Note:

I wrote courage meaning to show how standing strong changes the world.  I am only 13, but I have seen so much ugliness in the world.  As a disabled student, for example, I have been mocked and bullied.  I am totally cognitively intact, making the derision to which I have been subjected all the more painful. 

But I see mind-blowing compassion, love, kindness and courage in the world too. Every time I walk through the doors of M2H, I find my courage to be renewed. There I am surrounded by courageous nonspeakers and speakers, who are determined to make the world a better pla

This article was published in the May/June  2024 print edition of Connect to Northern Westchester.

Declan Toth
+ posts