My Benedictine Sister
says it’s hard not to be Judas-minded.
I ask her if she means betrayal.
No, not that, she says, everyone
betrays. Remember the broken perfume
bottle? How Mary wipes her Lord’s feet
with her hair? It’s Judas who reminds
the crowd how many bellies might’ve
been filled by selling her perfume.
It’s Judas who sees only suffering,
recognizes no value in anointing—
when there’s so much work
to be done. Mary shows us beauty’s
got no mother in this world,
save those who anoint.
Sister Eunice tells me suffering wins
when we look away from the broken
bottle. I tell her, I am glad poets
waste what’s beautiful.