The saint is kneeling, arms stretched out, inside
His cell, but the cell is narrow, so
As a crossbeam, when a blackbird lands
And lays in it and settles down to nest.
Neat head and claws and, finding himself linked
Into the network of eternal life,
Like a branch out in the sun and rain for weeks
Until the young are hatched and fledged and flown.
Imagine being Kevin. Which is he?
Self-forgetful or in agony all the time
Are his fingers sleeping? Does he still feel his knees?
Or has the shut-eyed blank of underearth
Alone and mirrored clear in love's deep river,
'To labour and not to seek reward,' he prays,
For he has forgotten self, forgotten bird
And on the riverbank forgotten the river's name.