Tiger Mum by Sumitra Singam

[CW: Reference to infertility]

Tiger Mum is at yoga with Buffalo Mum. Tiger Mum glides through chathuranga to upward dog, feeling her sleek muscles ripple under her animal-print tights. They are an expensive dri-weave. If she were to sweat, the fabric would simply absorb it. Tiger Mum can hear Buffalo Mum’s thighs rub moistly against each other.

Buffalo Mum emits a steady stream of chatter, chewing the cud of her domestic life. She feels things will be easier when the four-year-old starts school next year. The separate, and differently timed drop-offs and pick-ups are very challenging.

Tiger Mum thinks that when her cubs reach that age, she would have a streamlined process. She knows just the school – it has a pre-school attached, and her cubs wouldn’t have to be separated. They are pack animals. They hunt together, eat together, learn together.

Tiger Mum moves easily from bird-dog to tiger pose. Her bent right leg is up in the air, like a proud tail. Buffalo Mum is struggling with her balance. She giggles, “I’m so bad at this!” Tiger Mum’s eyes, amber, kohl-rimmed, flash at her.

In low lunge, Buffalo Mum says she hopes her 8-year-old will graduate to chapter books soon. Tiger Mum thinks there would have been no problem if Buffalo Mum had spent more time reading with him when he was little.

In side plank, Buffalo Mum wonders if she should get him assessed, you know, for a learning issue. Tiger Mum thinks there is nothing wrong with any child, they are full of potential. It is about the right environment, providing the freshest meat, not sugar and E numbers. But buffalos have a different set of values.

In fallen triangle, Tiger Mum notices the line of her inner thigh. Sleek and lean from all that quiet, careful stalking and pouncing. She is a killer at work with the KPIs. Buffalo Mum’s thighs are formless, and quiver with the effort of holding her ponderous body up.

He is clever, Buffalo Mum says. It’s just that the classroom is so chaotic. Tiger Mum will make sure her cubs meditate, when they are ready; then they will have no learning issues, regardless of the school environment.

It’s just so hard to manage, Buffalo Mum says. You know – work and the kids! Tiger Mum thinks Buffalo Mum should spend less time on social media – #mindfulness #metime #yoga.

In bridge, Buffalo Mum’s breasts spread like imperfectly cracked eggs. Her yolk-nipples ooze off to the side with a sheen of greasy sweat on her t-shirt. Tiger Mum’s breasts point upwards in tight pyramids. She has no time for an unruly body. Her body is toned, trim, unmarred.

Buffalo Mum says though she will be happy for the 4-year-old to start school next year, she will be lonely at home, you know? Tiger Mum’s lips purse tight.

Oh God, sorry, Buffalo Mum says, how insensitive of me.

Tiger Mum feels a heat rise in her body, orange and black, clouding her vision. I’m fine, she growls at Buffalo Mum.

In mountain pose, Tiger Mum sees that Buffalo Mum’s crotch is wide and low-slung, like a hammock. Wide enough to hold two kicking calves, sturdy and robust. Tiger Mum’s crotch comes to a sharp ‘V’. No space in there for anything.

Biography: Sumitra writes in Naarm/Melbourne. She travelled through many spaces to get there and writes to make sense of her experiences. She’ll be the one in the kitchen making chai (where’s your cardamom?). She works in mental health. You can find her and her other publication credits on twitter: @pleomorphic2

Image: unsplash.com