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Selection 15 of

Music from Peru

by Sunita Fernandes
It was cold and gray that entire week in
Montreal. Every breath formed a small wispy
Cloud. My new leather boots startled the
Veined cobblestones at the city square as I
Walked in quick strides in an attempt to
Reduce the freeze.

It was the flea market season.
The city center was alive with street artistes,
Buggies, make-shift food stalls, and the
Flea market. The air was pregnant with horse
Manure smells in one direction and tempting
Aromas from the food stalls in the other.

Bought 6 intricate cut-glass wine
Glasses for 4 dollars Canadian from the
Man with tired nut-brown eyes next to the
Organ grinder. He neatly wrapped them in last
Month's newspapers and I gingerly
Carried them in a cloth bag through
Crowds that were looking for something -
Anything that could be a bargain.

I only use them during Christmas.

Hunger from the cold clawed at my insides and I
Ate steaming Tibetan Momos to the tune of
Peruvian folk music played by a band of
Four at the main street corner. The only
Colorful spots on the horizon were their bright-colored
Sombreros. The music lingered as I crossed the
Corner onto the other side of the street.
Lingered and beckoned.
I yielded to the strains crossed the street again,
And bought a tape with their music. Back
Home in Toronto, I played the tape, the
Music cracked up in parts.
Bad recording.
Maybe bad quality tape.

It's been 6 years since.
That band of four remain in my
Memory, their lightweight gray cotton coats to ward off the
Chill and the wind, playing tunes through
Cracked lips and fingers blue-edged
From the cold.

Did they ever yearn for the
High clouds drifting over the

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Copyright © 2002 by Sunita Fernandes. All rights reserved.