He’s here again. We’re in church. He’s a bishop.
He has a long pink forefinger which he
Keeps jabbing too close to my right eye.
He wears crowblack clothes. I’m all diced up

In a new suit myself. Confirmation Day.
He opens his mouth, I can see his lips,
His teeth off-brown, his tongue placid as a
Trout resting on a hot day in the shade

Of an overhanging bank. His face is
So near mine I could swim through his eyes.
What’s peace? he asks.

‘The ha-ha-harmony of the sus-sus-soul
With Gug-Gug-God’ I reply. ‘Beautiful’ smiles the trout,
‘You are now a soldier of Christ. Go out,
Fight for him. God bless you, my son. That is all.’

Brendan Kennelly, Cromwell.

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