Utilitarians will not accept
The calculus of heaven’s kingdom come.
How many would agree with Judas’ quip,
This oil could have been sold to feed the poor?
How many would agree with Martha’s plea,
“Mary, there is work to do—come help me”?
Her sister shirks her duties, must not love
The poor, she saved this treasure up for years
While there were beggars at the door. That man’s
A thief—a traitor too—but aren’t there truths
In liars’ mouths? If Mary loves the Lord,
Why not her sister? Martha toils to love
And serve the King. Is that not pragmatic?
The King does not agree. The greater lot,
The finer portion goes to she who sits
To hear the Master teach, and now anoints
The Son of David, come to die. The oil
Is for His burial. Cost-benefit
Analysis cannot quantify love.

(Spring 2016)