For My Husband on His 40th Birthday

I’m thinking
of demanding spousal rights
to your gallbladder
when the surgeon takes it out,
bringing it home in my purse,
one stone for an earring,
one stashed
in the locket you gave me,
the last one under my pillow
for dreamkeeping,
your name bile-tattooed
across my heart,
flesh of the precious organ
buried deep in the dirt
of the old angel-wing begonia
that’s flowered our marriage,
spindly reaching for the sun.


  1. Who would ever have thought a gall-bladder could be such a romantic article? Your poetry is always immediate and takes attachment far beyond mere sentiment.

  2. Love the "angel-winged begonia that's flowered our marriage, spindly, reaching for the sun."

  3. that’s flowered our marriage,
    spindly reaching for the sun

    Strong brave words and all for being with a loved one reaching for the sky! How nice, Marian!


  4. Lovely, just lovely. Get those stones!

  5. I don't think they allow one to souvenir kidney or gall stones any more. Unusual poem. I like the reference to the begonia that has flowered the marriage . Aspidistras also come to mind:)

  6. gallbladder, bile...precious (albeit pretty words)

  7. That's marriage, where the diseased wrong stuff becomes the trophy of communion.

  8. This is great.. when even the gall stones is precious it's love... Maybe it's to celebrate the pain no longer there...


Thank you for sharing your thoughts!