The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Saturday and Saintes Maries

Mary Magdalene
By Catherine Tufariello

The squabbling soldiers gone, the women got
What fell to them. Beneath the drooping eyes
Of Pilate’s guard (the afternoon was hot)
They laid him out and shooed the stinging flies,

Rubbed linen strips with myrrh and aloes, rinsed
The dust from limbs whose wounds no longer bled.
As if the crown still pressed there, Mary winced
When, with a separate cloth, they wrapped his head;

And she recalled the pressure of his palm,
The scent of spikenard, Simon’s baleful stare,
And how, the whole house filling with the balm,
She wiped his wet feet with her loosened hair.

Days later, at the empty tomb alone,
She thought first of his pierced and broken feet
And wept, incredulous. But he was gone,
The wrappings, neatly rolled, still faintly sweet.

A gardener was bending in the shade
Among the gravestones. Trembling with dismay,
She cried, “Where is he? Tell me where you’ve laid
His body. Who has taken him away?”

He didn’t answer. When she called again,
The stranger stood and took a step or two.
Her fear became bewilderment. And then
He said her name, and suddenly she knew.


After two gorgeous days, winter made a return to the greater DC area on Friday, with temperatures in the 40s and snow on and off all morning...which would not be so bad except that it's dropping into the 20s tonight, and if it drops below 24 degrees around the Tidal Basin, about 90 percent of the cherry blossoms will die on the branch before they're fully in bloom, which would be a big disappointment. Plus, if it snows more, we may not be able to go to Richmond on Monday and Williamsburg on Tuesday. We had lunch with Alice and Jeremy, who were up our way for Navy medical stuff, at the Cheesecake Factory, and we visited Cabin John Park, which still has its cherry blossoms.

In the afternoon we took my parents to College Park, where we picked up Adam and went to Azteca for Mexican food and one last evening of celebrating my mother's birthday (they even brought a slice of cake and candle with our more traditional desserts). In very happy UMD news, Adam has been awarded a paid summer internship at NIH in the Laboratory of Cellular Imaging and Macromolecular Biophysics doing deep learning research to figure out better ways to automatically segment biomedical images; in less happy UMD news, Northwestern knocked the Terp men out of the Big Ten tournament. From Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, Mary of Nazareth, Mary Magdalene, Mary of Bethany, Mary Salome, and Mary Jacobe:


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