The Trumpeter of Krakov

Cold. Through Florian's Gate - a Tartar wind. Roses and snowflakes in the market square: Flower stall roofs, red and yellow blooms. Count the hour. Ten. Now: The window opens, exposes the trumpet's bell. Wait. And movement slows as eyes look up. Mary's Cathedral tower lifts dark against the snow. Brass notes shower down. In mid-flight: Stop. The window closes. The flower woman counts each blossom twice. Counts wrinkled zlotys twice into my hands. Looks at us from the corners of her eyes. Across the Vistula, Wawel Church stands. There, Great Sigismund's bell once filled the skies with doom or joy. The drifting snowflakes rise.

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