Bum’ma (Because I Couldn’t Say Grandma)

She opened me
to my river’s edge
Pushed me in instructed me to swim
I drowned in all that I was

She gave me permission to access my extra in plain sight
Extra dramatic
Extra artistic
Extra powerful

She was the orisha who acknowledged my magic
Showed me how to control my aries fire
How to burn low and strong and not burn out
How to walk into a room and not burn it down
or blind the masses with the white hot lights of pure honesty

She gave me permission to be the greatest testimonies even in my brokenness

How my back should bend but not fold
How to hold the grit in my craw
When to release it

She showed me prayers in honest belief manifesting powers and shifts

She performed the rituals in my face
She set the intentions
Lit the candles
Read the scriptures
Cast the spells from her lips
Reversed curses to bind the wicked
Made me take the old medicines
and made me pay attention to the flows of the spirit

I grew from the house of her womb one generation away
but she apprenticed me

Grooming the baby into a priesthood of Godliness the likes of no woman should carry
I lay now at the roots of her tree
Planted in my spine
While she whispers to me

On days like this remarkable is everything she said without saying anything

About R. Shawntez Jackson

R. Shawntez Jackson is an award-winning poet, playwright, spoken word artist, actor, educator, and father of Wordsi2i, a dramatic arts community empowerment program. Shawntez has publications in the Cipactli Journal 2017, Transfer Magazine, The Ana, 45 Magazine, and the Academy of Heart and Mind.

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