Poems by Leslie Clark, Clarity Amrein, Rebecca Luce and Tonkia Bridges for Postcards from the Pandemic: A Cincinnati Poetry Month Project

Four poems about finding or making one’s own comfort in these times, beginning with two poems to two Clifton cats who have not, to my knowledge met!

To My Cat –
Quarantine Day 15

You taught me well,
how to wrap isolation
around myself,
spending long
stretches of time
industriously removing any
trace of another’s touch,
to revel in the escape of sleep,
yet to wake instantly
at a sound or sudden
flash of color outside
outside the window.

Like you,
I am ravenous
for the glimpses
of beauty outside
and to regain my balance
on this precipice, and
reconcile life as it was before,
to the uncertainty unfolding.

Leslie Clark writes, “I live in Clifton, not far from Spring Grove Cemetery, and among the monuments of those no longer with us, life, beauty and hope surrounds me.”


A Postcard to my Cat

To you
my soft friend
my little tiger
off-duty guardian
blissfully unaware
asleep in the sun

hello to you
without pain
without time
I envy you
in sweet malaise

you do not know
what surrounds you
what days may hold
what your human fears
I don’t think you’d like it here

but perhaps I do not give you
proper credit
you curl into my arms when I cry
as if you do understand
this is also a thank you note

Clarity Amrein (www.clarityamrein.com) is technical writer, poet, public library worker, and LGBTQ+ activist who resides in Clifton. This poem is for Moon.


Distancing: March 2020

It’s just moments now –
I’m on my own.

Wild ideas brew with
Space and time to steep.
Fragrant meanings swirl, whirl.

No boundaries on daydreams.
Thoughts wander the universe,
Imaginings unencumbered.

Chartreuse clouds dapple lavender skies;
Frogs glide above the treetops.
Suessian reality prevails.

Wake me when it’s over.

By Rebecca Luce lives in Northside. She writes, “I’m using my solitary time to immerse myself in creative outlets, music and long dog walks. Getting a bit lonely, though!”


Pandemic Vision 2020

The entire world being consumed by the coronavirus
Got everyone desirous

Everyone’s encourage to stay home
Businesses closed there’s no need to roam

It’s really scary
They even closed the library

I’ve been searching for the beauty in all the madness
Focusing on spots of gladness
Trying to distract myself from the moments of sadness

Having the time to spend with my Dear Ms. G
Grateful for the moments when she remembers me

Enjoying the moments of quietness and peace
Catching up on some much needed sleep

Spending the days praying, planning, and preparing
For whatever the future is declaring

Attempting to stay optimistic
In a time that feels so unrealistic

Though the times seem dark
I’m holding on to the light I my heart

Hoping these time remove the blindness
Leading to more love and kindness

Tonkia Bridges resides in Avondale. An educator, coach, and youth advocate whose passionate about inspiring the inner NERD to learn for life. Tonkia enjoys writing poetry in her free time.


Author: Pauletta Hansel

Pauletta Hansel is a poet, memoirist, teacher and editor. Pauletta is the 2022 Writer-in-Residence for the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. She was Cincinnati's first Poet Laureate from April 2016-March 2018. Pauletta Hansel’s nine poetry collections include Heartbreak Tree, Friend, Coal Town Photograph and Palindrome, winner of the 2017 Weatherford Award for Appalachian Poetry. Her writing has been featured in Oxford American, Rattle, Still: The Journal, The New Verse News, The Writer’s Almanac, American Life in Poetry, Verse Daily and Poetry Daily, among others. Pauletta leads community poetry workshops and retreats in the Greater Cincinnati area and beyond, and has served as Writer-in Residence at Thomas More College in her native Kentucky. She is past managing editor of Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, the literary publication of Southern Appalachian Writers Cooperative. Pauletta received her MFA from Queens University of Charlotte.

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