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.
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.