Leslie Kouba Bednar


West · Jefferson · Poetry

Bungalows. Lots of them. All in rows.
One after the other. Along a brick street. Life unfolds.
Different style dormers. Front doors, many hues.
Garages. Some porches. Large old trees. Some new.

Juan and his wife, young daughter and son.
Generous. Kind. Kid sounds drift by. From the pool and the yard.
Basketball. Rim shot. Lands by our chairs.
Son asks politely. Come get it! We live on this street - with you.

Her mother, her brothers, her long dark hair.
Quiet lives. Roses. Small backyard meals.
The boys have their cars. She has her chores.
Rugs scrubbed and hanging. Our street is their home.

New neighbor. Welcome. Roxana and kids.
Cell numbers shared. A laugh. Someone’s always here.
Single mom. One car. Three workers. Three shifts.
She runs. And she runs. In and out of our street.

Castro. Behind us. Works hard. Seldom home.
Shared tree. Can we cut it? Yes, please. Oh, good, thanks.
Mows when he can. Older soul. Cheerful.
Truly our neighbor. But next street over.

Margaret. Dog walker. Plain and polite.
Asks if the fire screen is meant for the trash. Yes, please take it.
Dog barks. So loudly. We give up our chat.
She totes the screen. Down our street. To her home.
Two doors away. Young couple. Blond child.
Names exchanged. Greetings given. But now, I forget.
Instead. We wave our hellos. When we can.
As they raise a family. On our street.

Gloria. Single. Diagonally close.
Here twenty years. Seen some come. Seen some go.
Sits on her front step, surveying our block.
Mother of the street. Queen of her yard.

Now us? We’ve lived here a year. Two wives. Four cats.
In our quiet bungalow. On our quiet street.
You good? Yep. All good. That’s good. There is peace.
In our row of bungalows. On our quiet street.

Leslie Kouba Bednar

Known for her quick wit and loud laugh, Leslie Kouba Bednar is a high energy force with an intense interest in all things not boring. Currently, she is a multi-career professional. Under her own business name, LLBednar Consulting, LLC, Ms. Bednar provides engagement consultation to help small to medium size nonprofits grow their target audiences. In April 2018, she earned her realtor’s license and currently works with Howard Hanna. Recently, Ms. Bednar became a Reiki Practitioner, Master Level and provides energy wellness feedback through private consultation. Her love of good words and clear communication supports her favorite activity—thoughtful conversation. In her free time, Leslie enjoys doing jigsaw puzzles, sitting on her new deck with a cool beverage, and playing with words, especially to produce memoir writings and humorous essays.


Neighborhood Voices is a city-wide creative writing project designed by Literary Cleveland and the Cleveland Public Library to engage writers across Cleveland, allowing residents to connect with neighbors, share stories of their community, and draft new writing about what makes their neighborhood unique.


Cleveland Public Library
325 Superior Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44114

Project Created By Literary Cleveland

Literary Cleveland is a nonprofit organization and creative writing center that empowers people to explore other voices and discover their own. Through an expanding roster of multi-level classes, workshops and events, Literary Cleveland assists writers and readers at all stages of development, promotes new and existing literature of the highest quality, and advances Northeast Ohio as a vital center of diverse voices and visions.

Project Presented with Support By the Cleveland Public Library

Founded in 1869, Cleveland Public Library serves the residents of Cleveland through its network of 27 neighborhood branches, the Main Library downtown, Public Administration Library at City Hall, homebound delivery services, and mobile services to daycare and senior centers. From a collection of 10.5 million items, the Library lends over 5 million items a year to its 330,000 registered borrowers and to 43 other CLEVNET-member libraries in 12 counties across Northeast Ohio. Cleveland Public Library is home to the Ohio Center for the Book and the Ohio Library for the Blind and Physically Disabled, serving all 88 counties in the state of Ohio. For more information, visit cpl.org.