Saint Cuthbert’s Complaint

Saint Cuthbert absorbed
his cross [after his death]
taking Christ into his soul

A liturgical comb [shaped
from foreign tusk] was of
no use [laid & swathed in

linen shrouds – as he was –
so cut to fit his hips – lain
& wrapped like God’s son

in whitest & purest cloths/
Once an abbess broke his
verse – now Durham’s line

denies women a distance
any further – Cuthbert lay
incorrupt – but in his rage