Thursday, 14 March 2013

Pure Nard

A poem for this Sunday's reading from the Gospel: John 12: 1-8.

A final time at Bethany
in old, familiar company
Jesus, were your thoughts pierced through
with knowing what you had to do?

And did you clutch within your heart
a world about to break apart - 
or steady, with a conscious will,
a brimming cup so soon to spill?

Lazarus sat next to you
so grateful, and yet puzzled too
the dark thoughts of his tomb not quite
extinguished by the rising light

while diligent Martha, unreserved
and practical as always, served
her living brother, sitting by
the healer who had let him die

and round the table, sharing food,
those dear disciples loved and known
a band as close as flesh and blood
in whom the kingdom seeds were sown
yet no companion understood
the fullness of the fears you faced

until that generous sister
with a love learned from the master
poured out a salve so precious
that it seemed just like a waste.

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