Madonna della Cucina

Leonardo had his
“Virgin of the Rocks,”
and I have my
Virgin of the Coke
Machine: No lie.
In Joe’s Pizzeria
in Mantua, New
Jersey, a statue
of the Virgin Mary
rests atop the
Coke machine.  She’s
blue and white,
standard virgin
colors, and
she’s standing
in a miniature
grotto.  She’s
not as atmospheric
or mysterious
as Leonardo’s
Madonna, who
seems suffused
with an other-
worldly tranquility.
This virgin seems
suffused with, if
anything, the
aroma of
cooking grease.
But it could
be worse.  
It’s tough times for
virgins these days.
It’s difficult  to
preside over a

Difficult, but not


Copyright 2008, Ruth Rouff