Christ at the Last Supper

This week’s poem in the Catholic Poetry Room is by Fr. Robert Phelps, O.F.M. Cap.

Christ at the Last Supper

Like the hub of a wheel, around
which was all the movement of the Seder
he sat; the banter, the tinkle of cups,
the sound of movement, the kidding and
laughing of old friends drawn together
to celebrate ancestors’ freedom, the
long ago late night escape from Pharaoh.

could be seen, unspeaking, with slow
deep stares around the room,
resting his gaze on each of his friends.
If someone at the table had noticed,
and none did, he gazed upon each with
a look you’d see today in airports, or around
a sad hospital bed, with a longing in his eyes
for each, the look of goodbye.

Fr. Robert Phelps, O.F.M. Cap. has been a Capuchin friar for 63 years and a priest for almost 55. He served for 26 years in the territory of Guam in the western Pacific and 14 years in Hawaii. He began to write creatively when on a private retreat in a rain forest near Lahaina, Maui, in 1991. He has one full-length book of poems, In the Hug of a Sun that has Stopped, published by Lion Autumn Music Co.; two chapbooks, Ever, and Point of View, published by Finishing Line Press; and one e-book, Incessancy, published by Book Baby. He lives in a community of friars in Beacon, New York.

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