it will be a long night
with this feast
of fish, olives, wine and bread;
their sweet aromas are mingling with
the smoke of the flickering candles.
good to sit with my brothers.
jesus, our holy fool,
is on his knees before me
washing my feet, gently.
i do not know why he bothers to
humiliate himself this way.
as usual, he is being
opaque in his words. the wine
makes it yet harder. would that he
would just once say what he means.
he dries my worn, tired, dirty feet
as if there were nothing more precious.
the meal is amazing. i do not know who
baked this bread, but she must be celebrated.
jesus lectures us on what we must do when he
is gone. he speaks of love.
all i know is we are itinerant preachers, poor as dust, followed
by rabble that wouldn’t know a torah from a sandal.
just why exactly am i this man’s disciple?
down the table i see thomas nodding off.
james and john are arguing about that
damnable pilate. rome did us no favors with
still, i feel content. but
judas is petulant -
looking like he wants to smack
jesus for those foolish words
of betrayal. the next time i look, he is gone.
and, after that crowing cock crack
from jesus, peter has become sullen
and sits by the fire alone.
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 to gethsemane.
we grumble. why we have to
go to the garden in the middle of the night,
when decent men should be in their beds,
is anyone’s guess.
outside it is dark and cold
and no one can find judas.