Fiona Lam | Vancouver, MB | LCP member for over 10 years

Ode to Milk

Nurse a child for six years
to make him a wrestler, the Mongolians say,
their children still nursing at age four, even nine.
Engorged breasts proffered around the room
to the ailing and elderly.
Or perhaps milk expressed in a cup
and placed in the fridge
for a husband’s late night libation.

In the west, infants left to cry through to dawn.
Small bodies arch and twist
for what does not come,
craving an unnamed sustenance, suckling
on absence.

Milk denied, milk refused.
Milk hot and hard in the chest.
Recalcitrant milk.
Milk that is the body’s tender liquefaction
with hidden tributaries, sudden tides.
Milk that gushes, soaks, leaks and seeps.
Milk of pure tedium, marathon milk.
Milk of passion or appeasement.
Milk of long solitude, dusk and twilight.
Milk of dreams.
Heart’s milk.


* * *
The author of two books of poetry, Fiona Tinwei Lam‘s work has also appeared in over fifteen anthologies.She is a co-editor of and contributor to the non-fiction anthology, Double Lives: Writing and Motherhood. She is currently editing The Bright Well, a collection of  contemporary Canadian poetry about facing and surviving cancer coming out with Leaf Press this fall.  She’s been a LCP member for over 10 years.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Fiona Lam | Vancouver, MB | LCP member for over 10 years

  1. Maureen Hynes says:

    Thanks, Fiona, for a fine poem. A Neruda-like ode that Neruda couldn’t have written!

  2. Beautiful, Fiona. I love the repetitions and the sounds. It brings back my own experiences breastfeeding a while back.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s