By Dotsie Isaac

Her mouth. Frozen wide . . . in a silent scream.

Her face, a question mark asking . . . ”What do you mean?”

Eyes . . . staring but unseeing

Ears hearing but not listening

Mind not comprehending

Lungs not expanding

Chest caving in

On the jackhammer that used to be her heart

This news would tear her apart

If only she would hear it.

A helicopter crash

A fire in the brush

Her husband

Her daughter

Lambs at the altar . . . of this nasty, brutish life.

Kobe. Kobe! Kobe!

Where you be?

And where is Gigi?

Forty-one. Much still undone

Thirteen. Thirteen! Pursuing a dream

Lord, the brevity!

And Lord, the gravity!

Her disbelief gets no relief

It transcends her grief.

Vanessa Bryant

Her Kobe was a giant

A super hero

Stop telling her that lie

Super heroes don’t die

They know how to fly

And we’ve seen him fly, haven’t we?

Fly high above the rim.

Defying gravity

Surviving injury

A Black Mamba

A venomous member

He knows how to survive

How to stay alive.

In the midst of devastation

Vanessa is not present

It is self-preservation

For now, she looks back and is frozen in time

Much like Lot’s wife, if only for a while.

A block of salt

Tears that will not dissolve.

Until she finds some resolve

Inside her, there’s an earthquake

She cannot escape

The worst since living in L.A.

But today, she doesn’t run to the doorway

Today, she doesn’t drop or seek cover.

She does not try to hold on

Because Kobe is gone.

Her Kobe. Met her and made her his queen

At seventeen.

And her beautiful, energetic, athletic, Gigi. Her second child

With a smile as wide as the Nile

They say she’s gone too

And she does not know what to do

So she stands, a gathering storm of unshed tears

Unable or afraid to confront her fears

Death did find them knowing they were dying.

Did she scream, “Daddy!”? Was she crying?

It is the instinct of a father to protect his daughter

Was he able to hold her?

To console her?

What is she to do with . . . this?

All of . . . this?

Her hurt. Her loss. Some call it pain

But what she’s feeling has no name

Vanessa stands rooted in a timeless space

Her dark hair framing her widow’s face

Latina eyes . . . staring but unseeing

Unbelieving ears hearing but not listening

Mind not comprehending

Lungs not expanding

Chest caving in On the jackhammer that used to be her heart