Spikenard (A Poem About Impulsive Love)

Spikenard (A Poem About Impulsive Love) April 10, 2020

She was not manic
This time but perfectly
Lucid and yet burning
With the heart of a woman

Who had always been talked over;
She didn’t have much
To offer the teacher;

She hadn’t been trained in

Torah; her primary skill was to create
An experience using her body
And her linen sheets
With a light fragrance of

Spikenard to help set the mood;
And now the voice was telling her
“Pour it all on him!”
The voice of God or disease

She did not know but she
Remembered how he exclaimed
At her once, saying, “You’re the one
Who really gets this!”

So she surged forward,
Smashed the bottle open, and
Dumped the contents on his head
In one connected motion.

And he started coughing
As did everyone else in the room
And of course Judas (who hated her)
Was the first to lunge,

Stating the obvious truth
That spikenard has no place
Among respected rabbis
Because they don’t touch dead

Bodies and they don’t go
To whorehouses, so if a bottle
Is procured somehow then
Immediately selling it and giving

The money away to the poor
Is the only righteous option.
And yet, the Teacher responded;
He had laughed after he coughed;

Now he coughed and laughed together
And he looked into her eyes
Which were starting to fill
With tears and said, “She has given

The best gift of all; she had
The foresight to know that my body

Needs to be prepared for burial.”
And at this, the whole room laughed,

Thinking that Jesus was telling another
Of his many jokes, but he grew quiet
So everyone else hushed and then
He said with tears in his eyes,

“Truly, I tell you, wherever
This story is told throughout
The world, what she has done
Will be commended to all

For only a love that is desperate
And impractical enough to risk
Everything is strong enough to follow
Me anywhere and not lose faith

And not deny me three times
And stand under my cross
Without flinching until my chest
Heaves for the last time.”

And though he didn’t say most
Of that, the way he gazed into
Her frightened eyes was a greater
Gift to the world than anything
The spikenard could have
Bought for the poor.

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