Those quaint medieval paintings I’ve seen
of Mary’s crowning don’t do much for me.
You know the stuffy, courtly ones I mean—
God and Jesus stiffly on their thrones,
with the little Holy Spirit bird between
The King holds the crown above her head
like he’s still deciding if she should be queen.
There’s something glum about them—something dead,
as if they’re not really glad to see her.
They seem distracted and disinterested,
sweating a little in their brocade robes,
golden crowns weighing on their royal head.
They’re wondering how soon it can be over
so they can change and go hunting instead.
What if the blessed lady’s crowning
were not like a medieval court at all,
but like that Botticelli painting, “Spring”?
A second Eve graceful in a garden
crowned with flowers—a near naked youth reaching
for fruit, a lurking demon and three lithe ladies
in sheer dresses, delicately dancing.
Such a vernal, fertile scene would be worth
ten thousand courtly crownings. You’d have youth,
exuberance, trees swaying, the blithe earth
clapping her hands, rivers singing, oceans
surging and mountains roaring with mirth.
You’d have all creation rejoicing—
celebrating her innocent new birth.