Sensing, not at heart but in my liver
an acrid yellow gamboge stain of gall
on clean Formica tops and cutlery
(underground, a cesspit bubbles methane)
I finish this relationship. The end.
Threatened with pensionless lonely old age -
Thank God. I plan, dark glasses, suntan oil,
clean knickers and a money belt. He tries
to hold me with a kitchen extension.
Sara Park was born in Kirkcaldy in April 1940. When she was seven years old her father was killed in a railway accident. While her two brothers were kept in school together, she was dispatched to Spain to live with an aunt, without knowing why. Two years later she was brought back to Scotland to resume life with her mother.
At the age of eighteen, while studying at Edinburgh College of Art, Sara met and married a Scottish artist, and soon became the mother of two sons and a daughter herself. In 1970 the family settled in Newcastle upon Tyne and in 1978 Sara attained a BA in Social Sciences, working as a probation officer until 1982.
Sara finally left her marriage in 1980 and in 1981 began the first of many long and extensive travels: journeys that would take her as far afield as Nepal, India, Thailand and Sri Lanka. But it was with South America that she truly became enchanted. A place she returned to and worked in again and again; a place that undoubtedly fed and nourished her sense of adventure, and her feel for colour and language.
Sara died after a brief illness in September 2010.
Liver Sense is a poem from the new Diamond Twig Branchlines collection: Inviolate by Sara Park, which has been edited by Kathleen Kenny from Sara's extensive writings, and is being published posthumously in her memory. It will be launched in conjunction with her short story collection: Edith Popkiss Laughed Out Loud, from Red Squirrel Press.
Follow the link for a list of other Poems of the Month.
Liver Sense © 2011, the estate of Sara Park: used with permission.
Copyright of this poem remains with the poet: please do not download or republish without permission.