In the opening stanza Lochhead uses the third person to introduce the subject of the poem and quickly establish the premise - a woman has been betrayed by her lover and is preparing a final meal.
This is presented as a parody of the stereotypical version of a romantic dinner for two. She lights candles and sets a beautiful table all the while knowing that her lover has been unfaithful.
The sardonic title of the poem is literal, since this is the final meal they will have. It also alludes to the last supper of Christ before his crucifixion.
This religious allusion is referred to twice in the opening verse in the references to Lent and the phrase
betrayal with a kiss.
Lent marks the period of abstention and sacrifice in the lead up to Easter but in the poem the woman asserts that:
She is getting good and ready to renounce/his sweet flesh/Not just for lent. (For ever).
The very definite parenthetical
For ever helps to convey her absolute certainty that the relationship is over and has no hope of resurrection.
Later in this stanza, her droll acknowledgement that her lover could be relied upon to
bring the bottle/plus betrayal with a kiss refers to the way in which Judas identified Jesus to the Roman soldiers so that he could be arrested.
By using this comparison it is clear that infidelity is unforgivable and represents the ultimate betrayal.
This wry tone is apparent throughout the opening stanza. It is especially noticeable in Lochhead’s witty use of puns.
In another parenthetical aside she admires the table she has set, noting:
The table she’s made/ (and oh yes now/will have to lie on).
These words are reminiscent of the phrase 'you’ve made your bed now lie on it', used to convey the idea that sometimes we need to endure difficult situations that have arisen because of our own actions.
Here of course, the woman has no intention of forgiving her lover’s infidelity. In another double meaning, it also of course refers to the lies she is expecting her lover to feed to her across the table.
Lochhead fittingly puns on the expression
cooked goose. The phrase is used to imply that someone is about to suffer the consequences of their actions.
In this case it is especially appropriate given that she is describing the preparation of a meal over which she intends to confront her lover about his betrayal and end their relationship.