Down the street, Hope makes her legs work, a scary sight, enough
Sway to question, “How long has she been out?”
Meaning out of her house of disease, and tremor, and infection.
Amazing the oldest buildings she lives by have the most craft in the carvings, the most
Care, like once the workers in Philadelphia sat and thought up a republic and spent years fashioning fantastic architecture.
Hope doesn’t have that kind of time, can’t get thirty of her friends together, pestilence and greed, say, to layout a foundation and brick in the pattern of a publican’s. She can’t
Sit and chisel the necessary gargoyles, spin fifty white newels, trim the keystone, fit it, take it out and place it again, make another and fit that keystone, pull it out in frustration,
Go home for a long meal and a walk to the forge for another peen, return two days later and chip out the right, fitting arch stone.
Up the road, Hope is loathing the tone of high noon, the turn in mid stride that interrupts her pledge. The quality care and feeding still go to despair and strife, to terror and typhus.
And the republic gets back-burnered, time borrowed from, oh, food, basically. And the pursuit of the contents of Hope’s tremendous home. The love it would take to put the
Finish to this peak is more terrible than any in history, real or imagined or hoped.