Buona Seda, Bedda: Maura Alia Badji

Buona Seda, Bedda: Maura Alia Badji

Buona Seda, Bedda
by Maura Alia Badji


During the last summer of her life
I watch my grandmother undress
by the light of a holy candle,  
disrobe before Jesus, His merciful eyes,
His Sacred Heart unchanged,
eye-level on my bureau. She’s carried Him
on the plane, safe in her yarn bag. I am

with you always, His hand-carved pedestal
says. At night she releases her spare frame
from unnecessary stays, hardware of hooks,
eyes, rubberized wire. She struggles
against outdated machinery of womanhood.
Come morning, she slowly turns

her head towards her oldest ex-voto—
Saint Francis, her personal Patron
Saint of Lingerie. Her slight breasts
she keeps turned away from his
plaster gaze as she perches on my bed
to roll on child-size nylons. I must

ask why. He helps me  
get my girdle on, she says, but he’s shy.
And the Sacred Heart of Jesus says,
I am with you, always.

Shawnta S. Barnes: artist profile

Shawnta S. Barnes: artist profile

your soul is calling

your soul is calling