This poem is an ekphrasis on the painting “Mary Magdalene Anointing Christ’s Feet in the House of Simon the Pharisee” by Artus Wolffort (1581-1641), based on Luke 7:36-50.
Behold this lowly woman, — a sinner of grave sins, — who dares enter the Pharisee's home and washes Christ's feet with her hair. Expensive perfume soaks into her hair and His feet, its fragrance swimming throughout the whole house. Men look down upon her with derision and apathy; and Simon the Pharisee scolds Jesus for letting a sinner touch Him. Yet Christ lifts His hand to bless her, "Your sins are forgiven. Your faith has saved you; go in peace," and her sins were no more.