October 19, 2013

A spellbinding silence
Crept across the perfect
Stillness of the Moldau;
Night fell like a curtain
This winter, muting the
City and its passerby
Into oblivion.

Footsteps crunched in
The light dusting of snow
As a solitary figure made
Its way towards the dim
Light of a trailer’s window.
The beaten pickup truck
Yoked up front lay still,
The only movement
Declared itself from
Within the trailer.
Two bony hands swung
The tattered screen door
Open and knocked twice.

“Advising hours are over
For today,” a hesitant
Voice announced in
Very broken Czech.
“Please, Madame,”
Replied the voice, in
Perfect English.
“I have need of your
Vision this night.”

A face appeared in the
Frosted door’s window:
Out peered a woman no
Older than thirty, hair
Studded with beads and
Smelling strongly of sage
And incense. Slowly, she
Cracked the door open
And allowed herself one
Last customer tonight.
Her visitor, bundled
Thickly with headscarf
And cloak, seemed older
Than she looked. There
Was something ancient
And brooding about her.

“It’ll be twenty korunas
For a palm reading, dear.”
The older woman scoffed.
“Anything more and we
Can discuss the price.
What can I do for you?”
The air inside the tiny
Trailer seemed to swell
And fade, like the push
And pull of human lungs.
“I come here tonight,”
The older woman said,
Removing her headscarf,
“To warn you of danger.”

The younger woman
Was held breathless by the
Sight of the customer’s face.
It was as if she were standing
In front of a mirror faded by
Thirty years of age and
Irrefutable wisdom.
“You see, dear,” the old
Woman whispered,
“We happen to know each
Other quite well after all.”

The two spoke well into
Morning, the old woman’s
Answers varying from the
Confidently bizarre to
Outright refusal. There was
Some reason for her to be
Here, in that trailer on that
Particular night, but she
Could not divulge what.

“I only had one chance,”
The old woman said at last,
“To speak to myself and
Impart some knowledge of
What is yet to come.
And now, as I sit here,
Looking you in the eye,
I cannot bring myself
To absolute ruin by
Giving foresight to one
Who must learn from
Her mistakes.”

The younger woman
Smiled broadly in the
Dim fluorescent light,
Embracing the truth
Of her own deceit.
She would have done
The same thing, if the
Tables were turned.



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