Angela Alaimo O'Donnell: "Sonnet for St. Sylvia"


Sonnet for Saint Sylvia

    February 11th, 4:30AM


Now’s the very time that she did it.

Time both of day and of year.

The violet hour, between wake and sleep.

Her milk-fed boy in the sealed room.

The poems stacked neat.  The kitchen clean.

Her wifely duties quite done.


Only then did she kneel at the oven.

Her heart untrained for distance.

Tired of the hurdling, tired of the run.

Dying to rest before morning

cracked the door on another gray day.

She sought the darkest places she knew—

the basement, the oven, the grave.

There she could be brave.



Angela Alaimo O’Donnell teaches English, creative writing, and courses in American Catholic Studies at Fordham University in New York City. She also serves as Associate Director of Fordham’s Curran Center for American Catholic Studies. Her publications include chapbooks Mine and Waiting for Ecstasy, and two full-length collections of poems, Moving House (Word Press 2009) and Saint Sinatra & Other Poems (Word Press 2011).