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PABLO NERUDA / Boyer Rickel Tve been told an eagle Came to rest in a tree outside Neruda's house. Shouts, Even pounding on the tree trunk with a shovel Didn't frighten the bird; And that his neighbors Felt the need to chase the eagle off, None of this surprised him. A friend of mine once said The heart is a muscle Like any other. I think he meant it will grow with use; That use, though it hurts, Can't slow the progress of love Or love's consequences. Pablo Neruda often compared his heart To an eagle, being a warrior, A lover of beetles, salt, the shoes That served him shuffling through lines In an airport. And being a lover of such Necessities, he spent his life Discovering the consequences. When the doors of his house Were opened As he had wished So the living might pass freely— I say this though It strains belief—he wasn't surprised The eagle swooped Into a corner of his room. His friends Also seemed to understand And didn't try to chase The eagle off, at once familiar With its bearing and proud smile and laugh. The Missouri Review · 29 ...


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