Peggy Turnbull


In Guanajuato, my room faces a mountain
of Jacaranda blooms. Pink, yellow, and blue 

stucco homes lean into their neighbors’ lives. 
Nearby, a man and a woman sit outside 

at a wrought iron table. They sip coffee, 
share bread. A child runs toward them for hugs. 

In the evening, Guanajuato’s plazas surge 
with adults who carry small children in their arms. 

Parents kiss pudgy cheeks in a twinkling game.
One more observation for me to jot down, 

alongside descriptions of the sunny March weather, 
the dazzle of geraniums in window boxes,   

the bright Talavera pots in line on cement balconies, 
the taste of mango, pineapple, and papaya at breakfast. 

I count how many years I wasted, expecting 
Happiness to be impossibly aloof. She’s here, 

flourishing among us, free as the sun, 
and as big. 

Peggy Turnbull lives in the city of her birth, Manitowoc, Wisconsin, which is on the western shore of Lake Michigan. She was an academic librarian who spent most of her career working in southern West Virginia. She won The Mill Prize for Poetry in 2019. Her chapbook, The Joy of Their Holiness, was published by Kelsay Books in 2020. The Origami Poems Project published her micro-chapbook, Rocking Chair Abstract, in 2018. Her work has been recently published in Hummingbird, and Right Hand Pointing, and is forthcoming in Raven Review and The Pangolin Review.