Build Me Stately . . . (forgive me Mr. Whitman.)

(One picture of the place.)

Solid, stately, dug in deep, a queen
Settled in her reign these one hundred anchor the town’s kin and kith.

Trees around her volunteered years
Before masons began their work,
Mostly Italian, Irish and black. Glad
To have work up from dreaded mines.

Was it they who lent it symmetry,grace
Missing in Victorian streets of the place?
They shared their best, a gift in stone
To rest in silent testimony of talent’s own.

Buggies replaced now by noisesome engine
Pass by her hand carved doors, glass, trees.
We so little note the finery of wood or marble
Veined thousands of years in pressured stress.

Inside noses are assailed by years of law
Books, bound in leather, old whittlers’ shavings
Dropped by men shaping the odd toy, mixed
With tobacco traces touching every wall and corner.

Yesterday’s judges frown down on those around
Captured not in prison bars but a glass surround.
Testimony to man’s need for good order in this place,
A rare balance from the willed chaos that we chase.

From the preachers on the step, to clerks behind
A desk, the work of justice wends it way to all who
Seek solace, redress against harms real and opined.

Divorce, murder, theft, assault judged, juried
With justice meted to the victim and aggrieved.
So rare a happy day, the judge once mused,
Adoptions the rare good case when all win.

As long as man is man, and threats remain
A courthouse of carved and balanced stone,
Dispenses solid hope to protect our own. Keeps
Promise of honor and defense duly shown.