The town bandstand has medallions of iron recently emblazoned to it; in the last twelve years since the Hayes election, all respectable towns have added them to the places where politicians might speak. But those are only enough for the local offices. The mayor, the city council. Any redcap or jenny-greenteeth might slip into one of those positions, were the local election commissioners unwary; might find a way around the medallions.
My prayers are automatic, the movements worn into my fingers. With each Hail Mary and Lord’s Prayer, I can feel my shoulders tense. I haven’t had confession since I left the convent. Haven’t taken communion. I say my prayers, but when my mouth shapes the words, they come out tarnished. There’s nothing holy in this path on which I’ve set myself. I remember his teeth.