Maundy Thursday – Emily Rose Proctor

They were all there that night, the disciples, in true form.

The usher, with bad breath and unsightly teeth, passed out
bulletins, smiling at each guest with kind, intelligent eyes.
The retired tax lawyer in his head again, went over the numbers,

trying to keep his knowledge of exactly how much each had pledged
from making its way into his face. The deacon’s secret crush sat alone—
tap, tap, tapping her phone, pondering whether to meet her neighbor

later, the divorce not quite yet final. The lector was clearly drunk again,
though all who knew forgave her, this being her first Easter partnerless;
besides, she read the Psalm with such conviction and only repeated

the lines everyone most needed to hear.  The associate left the service
early to retch in the bathroom,  feeling only slightly guilty she would be out
on maternity leave for Rally Day this coming fall. A five-year-old whisper-

shouted to his dad what everyone had thought at one time or another, “Why
is everything taking so long? I’m hungry.” The priest tried not to sigh
out loud as he looked them over, remembered each one’s confession, imagined

those left unsaid. He rubbed his temple, counted his own sins
like sheep, and thanked God Judas had been included in that first
last supper, and Peter and all the sorry rest. It left room for them all

to receive, with gratitude: the body broken, the cup shared.

Emily ProctorEmily Rose Proctor is a pastor and poet living in Santa Rosa Beach, FL. Her poetry has been published by Christian Century and Slippery Elm, among others. In 2016 she won the West Florida Literary Federation’s poetry contest and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize by the journal Poetry Breakfast.