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Poetry Pleases: Afterwards

John Ayling writes a deeply thoughful poem about that most famous supper.

My dear wife said
That is how it must have been
When first the bread was broken.
They did not lowly kneel in adoration;
But sat around the table
Still littered with the debris of the meal
Of which they had partaken;
There was not silver chalice,
But an earthenware cup,
And a wooden platter for the bread.

Then it was I saw 'The Agape'
Where people meet in love
And shared a meal before the bread was broken,
Was, maybe what Jesus had intended.

There was no thought of priests ordained
To offer sacrifice upon the altar,
To change the bread and wine
To flesh and blood by transubstantiation:
And turn the sacrament of love and unity
Into a mystery that only those in the fold may share:
A symbol of division
And the diadem of priestly pride.


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