Sankta Lucia and Crows by Van Anderson

Sankta Lucia and Crows

The coldest time of year is just the time
to seek a mate, or so the crows divine.
They’re seeking food as well in city parks
and streets, but consorts fill the air—they’re stark
as black against the snow, obsidian angels
that squawl across a sky as grey as steel.
This is a hard time of the year, when night
devours the sun and swallows our brief light.
Still, dawn-clad St. Lucia wears her crown
of candles, flickering hope throughout the room.
They tried to torch her centuries ago;
she would not burn, became a saint, so now
the exegetic crows caw versions of
the fire and heat of her December love.

by Van Anderson

Poet’s Note: Lucia’s feast day is 13 December, though it used to coincide with the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. It is a festival of light celebrated in Sweden and Norway and features a young girl, wearing a white dress and a red sash (as the symbol of martyrdom) who carries palms and wears a crown or wreath of candles on her head. Other girls dressed as Lucia sing songs as they carry rolls and cookies in a procession. The festival helps relieve the long, dark winter days with light.

Editor’s Note: This sonnet’s main message of optimism and light is sorely needed this particular December.


2 responses to “Sankta Lucia and Crows by Van Anderson”

  1. Dave Williams Avatar

    The slant rhymed couplets work well with the creative use of vocabulary to highlight the theme, and it was interesting to learn about Sankta Lucia.

  2. Joyce Avatar

    The crows are swooping and cawing every evening on my walk; thanks to this lovely sonnet, I will lift with them.

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