A Poem About Black Ancestral Traditions: Scented Plums

by Samantha Liana

I caught a man last night.
He walked past the screened door
gloss from the window
making him look unused.
I buzzed him in.
Trapped him like grandma used to do
flies between swatter and newspaper.
Smell of nag champa and cocoa butter
led him like bethlem.

When he flew close I whispered
sing to me in his ears.
He rubbed his hands
around them cupping.
Trying to clean them out.

I lured him on to grandmother’s stoop.
He always wore an airbrushed shirt.
He would circle around tending to me.
I’d send him round to Larimie
to pick up a pizza puff & ice cream slurpee.

He stopped going to work.
In the morning he would bang in
to big windows.
My grandmother looked at me
with maghony filled eyes.
Asking what I did to him.

Smile on my lips.
I caught a man last night grandma,
got the technique from you.


Meet the Poet:

Samantha, is a 27-year-old poet, writer, and mother to a 4-year-old daughter in Atlanta. She explores a plethora of ideals around love, relationships, and mythology around black women in her writing. This helps her to feel close to her identity and the community/notion around black women. Check Samantha out on Instagram!

Sorjo Magazine

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