Last Supper

Last Supper
She is getting good and ready to renounce
his sweet flesh.
Not just for lent. (For
But meanwhile she is assembling the ingredients
for their last treat, the proper
feast (after all
didn’t they always
eat together
rather more than rather well?)
So here she is tearing foliage, scrambling
the salad, maybe lighting candles even, anyway
stepping back to admire the effect of
the table she’s made (and oh yes now
will have to lie on) the silverware,
the nicely al-
dente vegetables, the cooked goose.
He could be depended on to bring the bottle
plus betrayal with a kiss.

Already she was imagining it done with, this feast, and
what kind of leftover hash she’d make of it
among friends, when it was just
The Girls, when those three met again.
What very good soup
she could render from the bones,
then something substantial, something extra
tasty if not elegant. 

Yes, there they’d be, cackling around the cauldron,
spitting out the gristlier bits
of his giblets;
gnawing on the knucklebone of some
intricate irony;
getting grave and dainty at the
petit-gout mouthfuls of reported speech. 

‘That’s rich!’ they’d splutter,
munching the lies, fat and sizzling as sausages.
Then they’d sink back
gorged on truth
and their own savage integrity,
sleek on it all, preening
like corbies, their bright eyes blinking
till somebody would get hungry
and go hunting again. 
Liz Lochhead

from A Choosing: Selected Poems (Polygon 2011)

Reproduced by permission of Polygon, an imprint of Birlinn Ltd

Liz Lochhead

Appointed Scots Makar – the National Poet for Scotland – from 2011 to 2016, Liz Lochhead is both transgressive and popular; as Anne Varty wrote, ‘her work is that of one woman speaking to many,  and one person speaking for many’.


Read more about this poet