Last Supper

When Rebecca gave me my latest batch of words – my, virtue and supper – I couldn’t stop thinking about the biblical Last Supper. I tried to write about something different, because I have not ever really written religious poetry and didn’t know where I would go with it. But this was the topic that I kept coming back to. Finally, it was the word ‘my’ which gave me a way in: who was there at the last supper who might want their story told? Finally, I decided it was a woman, and here is what I came up with.

Last Supper

At that last supper
the men ate and drank
and hung on your every word
Little knowing it would be
their last meal together –
even when you, my heart,
told them one would soon betray you,
one deny.
Centuries later,
artists recreated that moment
showing your quiet virtue
their various states of adoration,
disbelief,
confusion.
What they forgot, those masters of the arts,
(or perhaps it was their priestly chiefs)
was that we women were there,
and children, too
not hangers-on
not underlings
but equals.

(Sally Murphy, 2015. All rights reserved)

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