The Scent of a King

I wrote this a year ago to the day, and today also happens to be Good Friday. I wrote it after reading in Russ Ramsey’s wonderful The Passion and the Glory that the perfume Mary poured on Jesus a few days before he went to the cross would have lingered on him for days afterward. And it was so exotic that only people of high nobility, like kings, would have it.

by Scott Rodgerson on Unsplash

Strange, through the sweat and spit
I can smell it:
The scent of a king,
The scent of one sent
To do battle and establish a throne,
To raise up armies and defeat foes.
He lies crumbled in dust
But can’t you smell it?
That perfume hangs in the air like an unseen banner.
It lingers after he leaves,
Like the train of a robe in a coronation march.
But we don’t follow our noses,
We still trust in our eyes:
We look at his broken body
And think the sign on his cross lies:
A king? Anything but.
He smelled like one anointed.

8 responses to “The Scent of a King”

  1. This is so, so amazing! I’m glad you decided to share it this year. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Rachel!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful! I especially love the last bit about looking at his broken body rather than remembering who he is.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I think I would have been one of those people if I’d been there. We rely so heavily on looks …

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Frances Bennett Avatar
    Frances Bennett

    Abby! Your poem is stunning! Your mom told me about your blog recently, and I am so grateful.

    Do you remember Chris and Frankie Bennett from your days in Stafford, VA? We came to your home for small-group, and you children would play in the basement while we met upstairs. Happy memories!

    Thank you for posting your poem. It is worth submitting to By Faith magazine (and many other places)!

    Yours in Christ, Frankie Bennett (now living in rural Lancaster county, Pennsylvania)


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Mrs. Bennett,

      Yes, I definitely remember both of you! I have such happy memories of those small groups, and I also remember staying at your house for a few days before we moved to Germany.

      Thank you so much for your kind words! They mean a lot. Happy Easter!


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