We all admired Pablo—read his poems
to one another in sunny Sunday bedrooms,
or on benches overlooking foggy lakes.
We cheered his name at concerts
where Chileans in wool ponchos
played indigenous flutes and drums.
We didn't know about his abandoned daughter,
the rape he regretted in his memoir.
In a choice between poem or poet,
we loved the poet, took lovers like him,
who bit our lips and dumped us at dawn.
Oh poetry! How patiently you waited
until we learned that the fire aglow in us
burned hotter from words
than from worshipping heroes.
Peggy Turnbull is the author of The Joy of Their Holiness (Kelsay Press) and Rocking Chair Abstract (Origami Poems Project). She is a Contributing Poet for Mad Swirl magazine. A Pushcart nominee, Peggy was the winner of the Mill Prize in 2019. Recent publishing credits include Hummingbird, As It Ought to Be, and Anti-Heroin Chic. She lives in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.