Mary anoints Jesus

         “She bought it so that she might keep it
         for the day of my burial.”

                  —John 12.7

His Ash Wednesday.
At the home of one who has been anointed by death
the others carouse oblivious but
a woman of sorrows, and acquainted with grief
surrenders what she has clung to,
anoints with her treasure
—what breaking this outpouring asked—
blesses with her body
feet soon to be pierced.
The house is filled with the fragrance
of death, the dark coils that face us
toward completion.
Dust to dust.
Death is not our end but our guide.
“Now are the days you have,
this is the moment to love.”
He speaks to himself.

Buried now with love,
he will live these days even more truly.
Even the last is the first of the rest.
Having repented, repointed
toward love most giving
he too is ready to wash feet,
to pour out his body,
to face death with love.
He rises from the table, risen.

   —April 1, 2019