The Torrazzo of Cremona from the river Po floodplain, Lombardy, Italy

           Sketch For My Hometown, Cremona

 

             Rather than Amati, Stradivari, Monteverdi and even

             popular heroes like Zanéen de la Bala—rather than all the art

             and views you can inhale on all sides, the monuments

             and museums, battlements and spires—rather than obscure

             luthiers’ workshops and treasures of culinary traditions—

             rather than medieval churches, sumptuous Piazza del Comune,

             aged deeds and mottos (coat of arms’ Fortitudo Mea In Brachio)—

             rather than any other mirror of the past, bend your eyes to special

             traces in people’s faces: of antique cisalpine Gauls, who here

             established a flourishing village before being supplanted by legions

             from Rome; of various hordes of Germanic invaders; of Longobard

             warriors, Charlemagne’s charges and Frederick Barbarossa’s

             followers, and on up to Napoleon, the Austro-Hungarians and

             World War II’s allied occupants and enemy liberators.

 

             But do not stick to mere appearance—float in time, in the city’s

             perfect anonymity, its absolute self-detachment as the placid river

             Po, midway between Alps and Adriatic Sea, flows on, on its own.


 

 

               First published in Potomac Review (USA)