Tiger’s Milk

Beneath the Surface by Maria Doering

Beneath the Surface by Maria Doering

This thing always seemed
too tame or domesticated.
Beyond you with muscles & tattoos
your hitch-hiking skills and ability to tie
all seven essential knots          (the clove hitch, the half hitch)
too fecund too essential
how could you make milk:
nurse or be nursed?
(the verb, the noun)
Sadly you picture a cow.
Nothing against the dear beasts but their
symbol; the music they make in the mind’s eye.
Nothing against them but their horrifying dugs
That hang so low.          (the bowline, the square knot)

But these were ideas. And foolish ones.
All before the fact, but can’t know a thing until
you know it.          (the sheet bend, the taut line)

Suddenly your body cinches and heaves with
Preternatural force: You are in the thick of it.
This is blooded battle, tooth and claw, life and death and
There is nothing, nothing

you wouldn’t do
To succour, protect

Yes, to nurse          (the verb)

In the bleakest hours of labour the thought appears: Tigers make milk, too.

Clatters on a ticker tape ribbon in the telegraph machine in your head while contractions rule you like riptides and at the end when he arrives, beloved man first born, you get it: This is fierce. Not just the Tiger, the Cow, too
I am tiger, I am the cow, too.
I am she.

About Natalie Meisner

Natalie Meisner is a widely produced author of stage plays and an award-winning multi-genre author. Her play BOOM BABY (about the lives of Maritimers working in the oil patch) won both the Canadian National Playwriting Award and the Alberta Playwriting Award and will debut at Eastern Front Theatre in 2020. Double Pregnant: Two Lesbians Make a Family topped nonfiction lists and was a finalist in the Atlantic Book Awards. SPEED DATING FOR SPERM DONORS (Playwright’s Canada Press, forthcoming) was a hit at Lunchbox and Neptune Theatres. Her first children’s book My Mommy, My Mama, My Brother & Me is available from Nimbus Publishing. Baddie One Shoe, a new book of poems, is an ode to the renegades of the past and present who fight the powers that be with laughter. Legislating Love: The Everett Klippert Story looks at the life of the last person to be jailed for homosexuality in Canada. Meisner is a wife and mom to two great boys and a Professor in the Department of English at Mount Royal University where she works in the areas of creative writing, drama and gender/sexuality studies. www.nataliemeisner.com

About Maria Doering

Maria Doering is a German artist who moved to Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, in the summer of 2012 after living in Montréal for five years. She studied Fine Art at the Hartford Art School in New Jersey and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BFA in 2007, majoring in Printmaking with a minor in Art History, and having completed a semester as an exchange student in Cortona, Italy. In the fall of 2007 she relocated to Montréal and entered Concordia University to complete an MFA in Studio Arts, focussing again on Printmaking. Her thesis exhibition, Auflösung: Beyond the Surface, was displayed in the spring of 2010 with a body of work that pushed printmaking out of its two dimensions and into sculptural and installation work. She is teaching classes at NSCAD University in Printmaking and is planning to open the Maritime Center for Contemporary Print in Dartmouth over the next two years. Her works have been exhibited across Canada and the United States, including shows in Calgary, Montréal, Halifax, Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, Hartford and Buffalo, as well as internationally in the UK, Denmark, Germany and Italy. Her work is represented by Swoon Gallery. You may also see more of Maria's work on her website.

One thought on “Tiger’s Milk

  1. Pingback: Breathe and Beneath the Surface in Understorey Magazine | Maria Doering Fine Art and PrintMaria Doering Fine Art and Print

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