The tablecloth is stained with sauce
and grease from the meats—cattle crumbs,
bones on plates. Everyone slinks away
from the finished food as if embarrassed
by the ability to fill their own bodies.
I collect the dishes and carry them to the sink,
wonder if a woman with hands like mine
cleaned up after those thirteen men, if the water
was hot enough to wash those bowls of His blood.
I imagine she knelt down beside a fallen loaf,
brought it to her lips, and shuddered. Maybe
she knew what transpired at suppers like this,
what Wine would flow the following day,
and who would commune with the broken Bread.
M. Brett Gaffney graduated with a BA in English from Stephen F. Austin University and is currently pursuing an MFA in poetry at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Her poems have appeared in The Medulla Review, Mad Rush, Precipitate, and are forthcoming in Ruminate. She hopes to one day own a pet stingray.
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