I wish I could say I won among thousands of entries, but I think there were only eight. Competition being slim, this is unlikely to result in a contract for a book of poems. I was an undergrad English major with a particular love for Shakespeare so I wrote a sonnet. While it's unlikely (okay, more like impossible) that I'll ever compose a sonnet like the least of Shakespeare's, it was fun playing around with the form. And here is the result:
For Pope Francis on His First Anniversary
To Peter's chair he came, a big surprise
With love for Lady Poverty his mark,
Refusing pomp and trappings, he abides
In simple rooms outside the papal park.
St. Peters's has not seen his like before
Although that could be said of every pope.
Each is unique in place and time, what's more
Each offers to his age the gift of hope.
Pope Francis is God's gift for these hard days
When mankind seems intent on suicide.
He calls us to be brave, embracing ways
That call to all to rush to Jesus' side.
And while we cannot know the day or hour,
We still can till the garden for the flower.