Standing, stork still with rod in hand, he waits. A foolish shadow grinning through the afternoon glare. He hears trains in the distance, the call of gulls, children building families of pebbles, twigs and sea smoothed rocks. His is a foolish pursuit. As any hope is foolish, for the universe smiles as it devours the optimistic.
In a small apartment hundreds of miles away an old friend pushes a needle into his arm and smiles at the irony of it. It is not a smiling matter. This does not occur to him as the drug forces its way into his veins. He has given up on hope.
In the mind of a three year old every second is infinity. Every laugh is an explosion that sends vines of happiness creeping on soft skin. Every injustice is the world defeated. Every sadness, forever. Every smile a blessing. It has not occurred to her to question the validity of hope.
The writer and the fisherman are one in the same, broken but standing thanks to bits of tape and glue. The page holds them together. The blank canvas is hope, be it an empty screen or the orange sheen of an egret's sunset.