Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Your liver looks lovely, she said, and smiled at the screen as though looking at a picture that gave her real pleasure. It's all smooth, no sign at all of cirrhosis.
I said, oh good, so do you think that means I don't need to have a biopsy? Her face at once became serious. Oh, I really wouldn't like to say that, she said, if the specialist has recommended a biopsy then you should have it. The biopsy is the gold standard. I pictured a tiny golden medal, like the one I was given when I passed a ski-ing test.

Strange that this relatively small procedure should worry me. I don't like to think of the needle going in, taking a piece of my liver, however tiny. Most people just feel a bit of pain for a few days after, but some feel as though they have been kicked in the stomach by a horse - someone told me that once and it is one of those things one stores away for future reference.

And then I came home to my notebook lying on the kitchen table and wrote:

The trees want sea change:
leaves on the apple tree, the fruit,
bruised and useless on the lawn,
something shrivelled and wasted

I can't identify. The season
wants turning, this much is clear.
Once fallen, we thirst for winter.

By the sea, gulls have disappeared,
the silence shifts and forms
into a listening ear, a question mark.

Everything turns to bone.

Indeed? Because there I was adding small and steady pieces to the prose thing I have been attending to, then I open the door a fraction to a bit of verse and this is what happens. Nothing to do with me, obviously. Ha.

I am bone-tired today, as though a piece of me had already gone.


Zhoen said...

A healthy liver really is rather beautiful, smooth and purplish.

Cusp said...

Good to know you have a lovely liver :O) Verse is lovely too

Reading the Signs said...

Zhoen, I had a quick look at it on the screen and can confirm it was smooth.

Cusp, well one doesn't like to brag (about the liver I mean). Verse words just seem to fall out - but thanks.

Fire Bird said...

'Everything turns to bone'
this line I like. It lulls one into a sense of the familiar, then surprises... and sets off threads of wondering. These are the things poetry should do!

Digitalesse said...

Gold standard, hahaha! Who decided on that stupid phrase? Conjures up images of tacky medallions and chocolate coins.

Mim said...

Not strange at all that you should worry about biopsy.

Yours for poetry and prose,

Vespersparrow said...

I have a wonky liver and had to have a biopsy. I shook for days thinking about it. It hurt, it's true, rather like a punch, but after I went home, it was bearable. I'll be thinking of you and sending you strength. Sparrow

Reading the Signs said...

FB - thanks, that's the line I like too.

Digi - yes, quite :)

Mim - not really so strange, is it, when one thinks about it?

Sparrow, well it's good to hear the truth from someone who had this. Thanks for your good wishes.