It will be a long night –
this feast of fish, olives, wine and bread;
their sweet aromas mingling with
the smoke of the flickering candles.
Good to sit with my brothers.
Jesus, our holy fool, is on his knees
gently washing my worn, tired, dirty feet.
I do not know why he emulates Mary.
He dries them as if there were nothing more precious.
The meal is amazing. I do not know who
baked this bread, but she must be celebrated.
Assuredly it wasn’t Mary, Jesus told her
to stay away this evening.
Some of us are glad for that.
Jesus is reminiscing about his father,
telling some story or other,
the wine makes it hard for me to follow.
All I know is we are preachers, poor as dust, followed
by rabble that would not know a Torah from a sandal.
Down the table I see Thomas nodding off.
James and John are arguing about that
damnable Pilate. “Rome did us no favors with
that buffoon,” says John, draining his wine and
reaching for the bread.
Judas is petulant - looking like he wants to smack Jesus
for those crazy words of betrayal.
The next time I look, he is gone.
Still smarting from that crowing cock crack,
Peter sits sullenly by the fire.
The musicians have left. The servants as well.
The dishes will be cleared away tomorrow, I guess.
Jesus puts his cloak on and announces we must go
We grumble. Why we have to go to the garden
in the middle of the night is anyone’s guess.
“Decent men should be in their beds,” says Thomas.
Outside it is dark and cold – and no one can find Judas.