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When Seamus Heany Reads "St. Kevin and the Blackbird"
by Doris Leuth Stengel

When I hear that lilting Irish brogue
as Seamus reads this poem
based on an 800 year old legend,
I begin to believe it to be possible.

The impossibility of a monk,
his arm thrust through bars
of a narrow monastery cell window
remaining long enough for a blackbird
to lay and hatch eggs in his hand.

Seamus calls this a labor of love,
a reward for doing the right thing.
It is in the kneeling,
in the hand outstretched
that a miracle can happen.

I too would thrust out my hand,
like that mythic monk,
lose all sense of pain or pride.
surrender all of me, to find
in my hand that "holy egg."
That mystery that becomes poem.

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