Fourteen students submitted their work to Your Words, Your Poem: The Coronavirus and Me, a local contest sponsored by the Maquoketa Art Experience and the Maquoketa Sentinel-Press. The contest, in honor of National Poetry Month in April, was an opportunity for students to express their feelings about the effects this pandemic has had on them. The MAE and Sentinel Press thank all the students who participated. They did a great job! The categories were students 8 to 11 and 12 to 18. Following are the poems submitted. 

1st Place:  

Sadie Bunyan

8 (Maquoketa)

Trying to stay focused is the key

The coronavirus and me, I miss all of

my teachers, friends and even PE

I just want my family and I to stay coronavirus free

Be confident and brave just like me

We are all in this together always and forever

Spend quality time with your family like me.

Let your prayers set you free

Just relax and have a cup a tea 

The virus will soon flee


2nd Place:  

Reo Renner

8 (Maquoketa)

My life changed with the covid sickness, because I had to stay home all the time.

I could not go to school and see my friends, because of Covid 19.

My family cannot go out to eat at a restaurant, because of the Corona Virus.

Only my mom goes to the store to get food because she doesn’t want me to get sick.

Because I am home, I get to spend more time with my bunny and dog.

I also have time to organize my bedroom and toys just how I want them.

I get to stay up later and sleep in now because school was cancelled for the rest of year.

I am spending more time outside planting a garden, having picnics in the yard, and playing with my sisters.

I miss my friends, school and shopping, but I am happy with spending more time with my family.


Justice Armbruster

6th grade (Maquoketa)

Some of the troubles we have today

Here are a few things

I’d like to say


I feel like I am in jail 

I really need to bail 


Please help me out 

I just want to shout 


I wish I was in school

Being all cool


I do all the chores

Like scrubbing the floors 


Fighting with my brother

Totally loving my mother


This Quarantine sucks

That is just my luck


Jaycee Atkinson

11 (Preston)

This is a poem about covid 19,

It could go all the way to Halloween.

Stay inside and don’t go out,

It’s not a joke so don’t go about.

Don’t forget to disinfect,

Get materials to protect.

Wash your hands with soap and water,

Otherwise it will be here forever.


Lily Cheramy 

4th grade (Sabula)

We are living in a time

Where going out is a crime.

To support those on the frontline

We will keep in line.

So do your part

And stay apart.


Rylie Gillen

6th grade (Miles)

Make sure you stay home.

We are stuck in quarantine.

Can’t go anywhere.


Canceled all my plans.

Spreading all around the world.

Schools closed for the year.


I miss all my friends.

All the fun things we can’t do. 

All the parks are closed. 


Samuel Hess

10 (Maquoketa)

Coughing is a symptom of this bad virus. 

Ongoing is this virus that is making people feel bad and sad

Running around at the park is wrong.

On benches and playground equipment the virus lays 

No touching anything in public

At the store kids cannot be

Victims of this virus can die.

In time it will hopefully go away. 

Roaming around in hospitals are doctors and nurses 

Us together will fight for our country

Sickness is really bad this time.


Autumn Hoerschelman

8 (Maquoketa)

C oughing alot

O ver the whole world

R emember to wash your hands

O nly mom goes to the store

N obody can come over

A lways bored except my Birthday

V ery thankful for my sisters

I miss my friends

R eally hope I don’t get it

U se hand sanitizer

S till haveto do school


A nd chores

N o library

D on’t get to swim at the Y


M ade my own Birthday Cake

E veryone stay home


Ann Hoerschelman, 

9 (Maquoketa)

atchy and contagious

O bnoxious

R esparitory virus

O rnery

N ew

A grivating

V icious

I solated from my friends

R unning out of things to do

U nreseached

S ocial distancing sucks


A void others

N o toilet paper

D angerous and deadly


M asks

E veryone is praying for healing


Ages 12 to 18 Category

1st place:  

Emma Haan

13, Maquoketa   

I’m trapped inside with nowhere to go,

People all around saying they just don’t know. 

I have so many feelings left unclosed, 

And am left longing for the knowledge of when doors will no longer be closed. 

Am I prepared for what the future may bring?

With a part of the year still feeling like it needs finishing, 

And even with the beauty of the spring, 

The world still seems so very unclean.  

Feelings of sadness brought up from all the memories missed; 

Wishing for a way to end all this. 

But you know what they say, after every storm there comes a rainbow. 

And even though we have to stay six feet apart, 

After this all ends we’ll be closer at heart.


2nd place:

Riley Burken, 

14 (Baldwin)

It’s like the apocalypse has started.

People have boarded their doors,

Stocked their shelves,

Difference though, there’s no zombies...

Or toilet paper.


The virus has taken over, 

And there’s no antidote

to cure it.

It cages the land in an

iron-like grip,

Letting no one go free.


So we stay far away,

From it and from each other.

Family and friends


for the greater good.

To stop the Virus’s reign.


Time is faster than before,

And also slower.

The days blend together, 

In a cycle of similar acts.


These actions, whatever

they may be, are necessary

For our recovery.

Our nurses and doctors work tirelessly,

As should we.


There will be a day,

When we can visit our friends,

Have parties in the sun,

But til then...


Stay safe,

Follow the guidelines,

And most importantly, wash your hands!


Raina McCartt, 

16 (Lost Nation)

Lungs are built to be strong.

They’re built to be resistant against threats to the human body.

But sometimes there are threats that you can’t prepare for.

You can’t prepare for hundreds of thousands of people dying. 

You can’t prepare for cities shutting down. 

You can’t prepare for your entire life being turned upside down. 

You’re told to replace the most important things in your life. 

FaceTime your friends, don’t meet up with them.

Join zoom calls, don’t go to school. 

Stay home, don’t leave.

You can only prepare for so much. You can only replace things so much. Until you can’t. 


Ainsley Munson

12 (Preston)

Riding my bike,

I was so glad

That the new illness

Hadn’t made me sad


Then along comes my mom

‘The park across the street’,

she said

‘Is closed to everyone’

And then I read


The sign across the entrance

That boldly said,

‘City Parks Are Closed’

And I fled


Into my house I ran

I cried and cried

‘God, what is this?’

But soon I sighed


As I realized

That God is in charge

He still cares for me

When my problems seem large


Mia Reicks

7th grade (Maquoketa)


Some freaked out

They started hoarding and storing 

Full of doubt

That we will not get together


Some didn’t care

They hung out with their friends

Going around elsewhere

Staying together


But, we are all scared

But, we all care

We are all in this together

This will not last forever


It won’t be all bliss

It won’t be all joy

But we can get through this

So we can once again enjoy

Our time together


After, we can congregate 

We can get together

It will soon be great

Forever and ever