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.