Flowers for the Diva

The ghost bike sits on the corner
where the angel flew away
with the diva beneath her wing.
It wasn’t a peaceful departure.
It was harsh and abrupt in its sweep
and finality,
not like when an angel waits by a bedside
for weeks. This time it came with
the crash of a minivan into a bicycle,
leaving behind a story for cops to write
in white on black.
That’s how I read it the next day
and for weeks thereafter.
Even after the snows came and went,
I could still see where the angel left her halo,
coming and going as fast as she did.
And I still could see the shadow of
of her life there within that halo,
not shiny and dark like on that June morning,
but just as dark in my heart, there next to
the white bicycle and the flowers for the diva.

On June 6, 2007 Diva De Loayza died in a tragic accident near my home. Mollie and I passed the police accident investigation lines on our morning walk the day after and every day for months. Those lines, and the young woman’s blood on the blacktop, affected me for years.

Today, on the anniversary of her death, I “wrote it out”

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8 thoughts on “Flowers for the Diva

  1. Oh, this is so tragic, Joe…such an awful thing thing to happen & so close to home, too. I’m glad you were able to write it out, I can imagine it would affect you deeply. When something like that happens it reminds me how fragile life is & how it needs to be lived as much as possible….it certainly puts things into perspective for a while…….a heart breaking, poignant write, dear Joe …huge hugs to you xoxo

  2. This is completely beautiful, heart-wrenchingly pure poetry, composed of and derived from “an incident” that obviously left its mark upon your soul. It may have taken you some time to write it, but the thoughts and emotions were simmering in the shadows of your memory until it was ready to come out. Sometimes, I think we have no choice in this: we need only pick up the pen and hold on for dear life as the words are spilled through us.

    I have a few quotations of my own, borne of personal experience, that deal with and are about the effects of death on those who are left behind – whether the death is of one young and in a tragic manner or of one who is old and whose demise is “expected”, which I shall share with you here, to let you see just how deeply moved I was by your offering of this poem.

    Sorrow is like the tide; some days, the current is strong and pulls us under – other days, it is warm and recedes, allowing the best memories to return to our shores. We drink from the chalice of youth as though the wine was from an infinite supply. Only when we look back at the now-empty vines does the reality of finite beauty become apparent.

    There are those moments that come, those which make writers cringe in frustration, simply because no matter how many languages one might speak, there are those instances when not one single word will suffice in explaining the depths of emotion, of careless laughter and undying love…and yes, even the good memories can haunt us, as well.

    We can all stand on the shore, shouting encouragement to those caught in the grasp of terrible tides of grief, but these waters are such that we must invariably swim through them alone.

    I believe – no, I know – we will be united with our loved ones some fine day. As for me, I can wait until my moment comes – for them, it’s merely a blink in time until they see us again and they are all waiting for our arrival  – if time even exists at all for them. I’m not sure it does, once one passes into the fluent realms of eternity.

    Know that you are not alone and that they ever live on in your memories, your heart…and one fine day, when we are finally reunited with our loved ones once more, it is only a blink to them, wherever they are, but it may very well seem like an eternity to us…

    We are all so much stronger than we know – until the moment we need to know it.

    I think where the term “soul mate” comes in is not in a romantic sense, but in a deeply personal sense. I believe God (or whatever higher power there is) puts certain people in our path at specific times for definite reasons…and perhaps we’d encountered one another before, in a different existence or time or space, who knows? We all have lessons to teach each other, lessons to learn from one another. And yes, we let each other remember who we really are, what it really means to be a senient, creative, loving soul.

    There are times when writing will not ease the wound or unwind the knot.

    Life will teach us how to live, but we must be willing to listen.

    (the end lines of my poem “Unfeathered”):
    “We are creatures of gravity,
    soliciting the stars”

  3. So sorry for this. A very moving poem. Amazing how incredibly random life and death and health and sickness and luck and disaster are or seem anyway – chance decisions here and there. Wonderful poem. k.

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