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Prayer to Saint Mark,
Patron Saint of Lawyers and Notaries

Gracious Saint Mark, evangelist, apostle, and all-around good
writer, you who are patron saint of lawyers, notaries, and
prisoners—so, basically, the designated protector of those
who labor under the constraints of bureaucracy—grant me the
patience to sit through the interminable hearings orchestrated
by my local municipality to bore the public to death so that,
after most people go home to bed, the zoning board may
move in favor of the big property owner. Saint Mark, keep
me mindful that I, alone in the room, was the only person
apart from the developer to accomplish anything, in his case
approval of a $20 million deal, in my case half of a glowing
gold mohair shawl in the feather-and-fan pattern. (Although,
to be fair, that's an excellent suit the council president is
wearing, beautifully cut.) I understand that as patron of
paper-pushers, you and I might be at cross-purposes, but you
are also the patron saint of lions, and who knew magisterial
tawny lions prayed? As a civic watchdog, I try to embody the
saying, "They also serve who only sit and wait." Who said
that, Saint, and were they serious? Please tell me which side
you're on.

Nancy Keating

New Letters

Volume 83, Number 4

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