Bob Hicok

(1960 - / Michigan)

By Their Works - Poem by Bob Hicok

Who cleaned up the Last Supper?
These would be my people.
Maybe hung over, wanting
desperately a better job,
standing with rags
in hand as the window
beckons with hills
of yellow grass. In Da Vinci,
the blue robed apostle
gesturing at Christ
is saying, give Him the check.
What a mess they've made
of their faith. My God
would put a busboy
on earth to roam
among the waiters
and remind them to share
their tips. The woman
who finished one
half eaten olive
and scooped the rest
into her pockets,
walked her tiny pride home
to children who looked
at her smile and saw
the salvation of a meal.
All that week
at work she ignored
customers who talked
of Rome and silk
and crucifixions,
though she couldn't stop
thinking of this man
who said thank you
each time she filled
His glass.


Comments about By Their Works by Bob Hicok

  • (3/8/2017 10:39:00 PM)


    'The salvation of a meal
    Great imagery. Congrats on the Poem of the Day.
    (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Sylva-onyema Uba (3/8/2017 5:24:00 PM)


    A well expressed piece of poem.
    Thanks for sharing with us.

    Sylva
    (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (3/8/2017 6:06:00 AM)


    Of a meal! ! Thanks for sharing. (Report) Reply

  • Lantz Pierre (3/8/2017 4:24:00 AM)


    A brilliant meditation on real worth of human suffering and the true meaning of the teachings of a humble interloper in Palestine who's gospels became institutionalized in Rome. I imagine the speaker of the poem is a lowly charwoman/dishwasher/busboy in a fancy restaurant in the city of seven hills. She is a devoted person and not without an understanding of the books of the Bible and great works of religious art. But it is not the great and lofty that commands her attentions. She serves others. She makes do with the smallest of offerings for a meal. She is drawn not to the words of the rich and powerful but the humble kindness of one who thanks her for her least offering of water. A very effective re-imagining in modern times of the enduring meaning of a prophet who spoke two thousand years ago. This poem concentrates its energies on the goodness and kindness of human acts and the grand decrees and laws which are only so many words. Touching. (Report) Reply

  • Tom Allport (3/8/2017 3:12:00 AM)


    an interesting poem of might have happened after the last supper? god only knows! (Report) Reply

  • (3/31/2007 8:10:00 AM)


    yes, words outside the box or the framework of the picture-. (Report) Reply

Read all 6 comments »



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: faith, pride, woman, work, children, smile, people, home, god, time, women, thanks, child



Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2004

Poem Edited: Monday, January 23, 2012


[Report Error]