Sonnet

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The first poem I ever sold to a magazine was a sonnet. I was in college when Pet Parade put out a call for poems about pets, and I answered. Below is the poem the editor chose of mine.

Sonnet III

The musty sweet smell of hay is in your

fur, kitty. A hint of where you’ve hidden

your babes. I know strangers are forbidden

to linger near the sun-dappled nest, or

stroke the tiny tender noses before

you allow it, but I’ve watched your children

tussle in the night. Am I forgiven

if I explain that your son has a roar

like a dragonfly, and your daughters grow

more like you every day? Their faces draw

me; I can’t help but climb up to the loft

while you’re away and watch them swaying low

in their walk, or curling up on the straw

to sleep. They are my joy; so clean and soft.

                                                        -Judith L. Roth

“Sonnet III” was scheduled to be in the Sept.-Oct. 1981 issue, but I never received a copy. Instead I received a note that Nancy Jeanne Larson, editor and publisher, died tragically in an automobile accident. The note was sent by her surviving husband. The lost opportunity of being published was of course slight in comparison.

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About Judith L. Roth

When I was about ten, it occurred to me that books are written by people and I was a person. I could create my favorite things–I could write books! I got a B.A. in English. My first poem was accepted for publication before I graduated. I had some success with poetry, but my real dream was to write fiction for children. My first fiction piece was accepted about 25 years after the first submission. Things you might want to know about me: I know how to persevere. I’m a third-generation California native, living in Indiana. I have two remarkable sons who are now young men,and a husband who’s supported my writing for over three decades. I love cats and currently have three of them. I love being near water–oceans, lakes, rivers all work for me. Chocolate is probably my biggest downfall. I’m exceptionally curious. (Or nosy, as my family calls it.)

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