Poetry Contest by Kenneth P. Gurney

Poetry Contest

There were seven hundred and twenty-six entries
typed in thirty-two slightly different serif fonts 
and seventeen slightly different sans-serif fonts
on nine different weights of paper 
with eleven different brightness factors
and forty-three submissions
were immediately discarded
for not following the guidelines
leaving six hundred and eighty-three eligible poems
but being a devout christian and poet myself
I was faced with the practical dilemma 
of judge not lest yea be judged
and I could not make up my mind
as to which poem to choose as the best
or second or third, so I decided to pray
for a sign from God as to which poems
should be the chosen poems
and I first looked for the mention of Jesus
or any of the disciples
or any of the saints
or quotes from the gospels
but there were none 
as this is a landscape poetry contest 
none of which mentioned Golgotha
or any location in the holy lands
or sites deemed holy according to the vatican
and so I set the poems out in the yard
so each was uncovered to the sun
and to the sky and I got down on my knees 
and prayed in earnest for a sign:
a flight of morning doves
marked three poems with bird droppings—
which in Italy is seen as a sign of good luck—
and I awarded the poem with the largest splat
best and so on down to third.

Kenneth P. Gurney

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