And wiped them with her hair

Mary of Bethany,
sister of Martha the industrious
and Lazarus the once dead.
How she loved him,
yearning in silence
having determined to be content
with the sound of his words
uttered in company.
He was unlike any other.
Had convention permitted,
she would gladly have left her siblings
to join his itinerant band; perhaps then
she might steal a few minutes of him
for herself. Was that being selfish?
Never fully understanding herself
and driven by something deeper than desire
she resolved to claim her few minutes
Flouting convention, common-sense
and good manners, Mary went in to her beloved
where he sat at the table,
taking a bottle of fragrant perfume
along with her heart.
The former she poured with extravagance
over her beloved’s feet.
With her hair, her hands.
and the same breaking heart
she wiped her beloved’s feet,
and wept for love. 

© Ken Rookes


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