La Corona

A childhood scene recalled by Trump of his
mother, Mary MacLeod Trump, in
The Art of the
Deal, with a parallel to English-Scottish history.  

Two popes, two presidents. Two queens. Recall
How Mary, Queen adored Elizabeth.
“My royal cousin” she wrote with affection
In her too-imitable Roman hand.

She trimmed her sails and set out on her voyage,
Sister to sister. Nothing in her hold
But trust and royal gifts and open hands.
She breathed free for the last time on that deck.

Another Mary, in her living room,
Sat watching pomp and majesty all day.
“Aw, turn the TV off!” snapped Fred. “Who cares!”
It was as if the woman didn’t hear.

“My royal cousin.” And her boy watched her.
He watched her watch the crowning of a queen,
Far from the Hebrides where she was young,
Queen’s more than equal, raising up a son.



La Rosa

A type of white rose, named for John Paul the
Second, was planted by First Lady Melania
Trump in the White House rose garden.

White rose. It is the perfect oxymoron,
The word for rose another word for pink.
There is no shadow in the holy face
The writer paints with ever-brighter light.

We never knew how many whites there were,
A nacre, till we lost count in your rose:
Its complete glossary of candid tints,
Its full glissette bouquet. You didn’t age,

You just unfolded more fresh modes and ways
Of being young. Your always-older king
With every decade donned a new degree
Of bling, a mantle of authority.

Our Lord chose white ink for his portrait too,
Printing his glowing outline on the shroud
And on the fibers of the face-cloth left
The trace of lifting lids and indrawn breath.



Monika Cooper is an American family woman.

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9 Responses

  1. Margaret Coats

    “La Corona” suggests in a complex historical manner how a crown represents the dignity and the authority and the fascination and the legacy of a monarch. You have four queens in view: the illegitimate and childless Elizabeth Tudor, the truly royal but flawed and unfortunate Mary Stewart whose son (though taken from her and not brought up by her) carried on a monarchy, Elizabeth Windsor whose sons have yet to complete their mother’s story, and Mary McLeod, mother of a son who has proven himself, though his story and his mother’s also remain unfinished. Mrs. Trump, the only one of these queens whose hand actually rocked the cradle, is seen as more than equal to the others.

    “La Rosa” is yet more complicated, and I thoroughly enjoy it, although I don’t thoroughly understand the “always-older king.” Is that John Paul as monarch of the Vatican? Still, I like the poem enough to wish for metrical regularity by changing “complete glossary” to “glossary complete.” Would that skew anything?

    Most unusual but worthy meditations.

    • Monika Cooper

      Yes, four queens indeed. Poor Mary Stewart who never got to rock her children’s cradles! (I’m thinking also of her miscarried twins.)

      Well, who would Melania’s king in marriage be? (Although the union has yet to be made valid.) And how about “Its glossary of candid tints complete” to fix the meter? I do appreciate your ear on these things and thank you very much for your comment, Margaret!

      • Monika Cooper

        (I might add there’s a third Mary and Elizabeth pair of kinswomen deep in the background here.)


      • Margaret Coats

        Yes, new degrees of bling suit Trump better than John Paul. I was trying to think of some actual king growing old, but Carl XVI of Sweden didn’t fit, and the Catholic kings of Belgium or Spain even less so.

        Your fix for the meter in the “glossary” line is actually better than mine, as it improves sentence logic as well.

        As for the Mary and Elizabeth deep in the background, that’s easy to imagine, and both of them rocked most significant of cradles!

      • Monika Cooper

        “Bling” (like “bing”) is such a Trumpian word. And I also like it for its onomatopoeic synesthesia; it refers to “the imaginary ‘sound’ that is produced from light reflected by a diamond.”

  2. Shaun C. Duncan

    These are both wonderful, Monika, but I particularly love the unexpected but strangely compelling historical parallel contained within ‘La Corona.’ I can’t help but wonder if a similar fate to the elder Mary awaits The Donald if he achieves power once again.

  3. Jeanna Cooper

    Beautiful poems. I especially love the last line in La Rosa, “The trace of lifting lids and indrawn breath.” A stunning ending.


    • Monika Cooper

      Thank you, Jeanna! So good to see you here.

      What I have heard about the face cloth found in the holy sepulcher was that it is made of a certain rare and expensive fiber from sea-molluscs. (Perhaps it was donated for the burial from Mary Magdalene’s former wages of sin.) The image left on the face cloth seems to have been caused by a flash of very bright light (in a very dark room) and matches the face on the shroud. Except the eyes are captured in the act of opening and the mouth in the act of breathing in. So it’s a self-portrait of the Resurrection.


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