I posted this poem last year for Maundy Thursday; it bears reposting. It’s kind of an exporation of what it might have been like, that night almost two millenia ago. I wrote it after walking home past the Indian restaurant in our old village, having sat at the Maundy Thursday vigil in church for some hours, and the smells of hot spicy lamb made me think of the Passover meals…
It’s a still night, the warm air filled
With the hot greasy scent of a thousand meals.
Glad I didn’t have to cook tonight;
I know lamb is traditional but it seems so unfair:
That little life cut short just for us.
I shouldn’t be here; they said no.
He didn’t, of course; he never does.
But I’m here anyway.
Maybe he knows; they don’t.
Look at them, sleeping like babies!
He wasn’t himself tonight, seemed sad.
Someone said he’s paranoid,
Expecting betrayal at any moment.
“Won’t be me”, that’s what Peter said.
He can’t help boasting but it’s sad.
He’s like a big hairy dog pretending to be brave-
One sniff of a wolf and he’d be off!
Anyway, I’m worried.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned,
It’s this: men can’t be trusted.
I shouldn’t be here: but someone should,
And since they’ve all dozed off
There’s only me, wide-awake in the bushes.
Nothing I can do but wait;
This mood of his will pass,
It always does.
But he does look so sad
And I wish-
But that’s not to be.
I’m so tired too.
I don’t know why I’m here;
I don’t understand half of what he says
But while he says it, it sounds so right.
Pity not everyone agrees.
If I close my eyes, just rest them, mind,
Just for a moment or two.
It’s been such a long day.
I won’t sleep, not like the others.
Not sleeping, just resting my eyes,