Nikki Giovanni Dedicates Heartbreaking Poem Titled 'January 26, 2020' To Vanessa Bryant
She named the poem after the date of Kobe and Gianna Bryant's tragic deaths.
Esteemed poet Nikki Giovanni wrote a poem dedicated to Vanessa Bryant and the aftermath of Kobe and Gianna Bryant’s deaths.
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The poem, titled “January 26, 2020” was published by The Undefeated. The title refers to the day Kobe and Gigi died. In the piece, Giovanni wonders what Vanessa felt before her husband and daughter left their home, never to return.
We don’t know
Know the last words
“The weather is bad
They will be all
Right with out
The 76-year-old poet also acknowledged Vanessa’s feelings were, frankly, none of our business. Still, Giovanni questioned if Vanessa felt anything was amiss.
We don’t know
And actually it’s not
Was she worried
Did she feel something
Did she wish
He would for once
Giovanni figured the family exchanged goodbye kisses and wondered about mundane things like dinner menus and snack choices.
But she most likely kissed
Them both wondering
What they might want
Or snacks into the evening
When they came home
The “Ego Tripping” writer ended the poem with a scene where Vanessa rests and thinks about the game awaiting her husband and daughter.
She hoped they would
But she was so tired
Maybe just a short
Just to close
For a minute
She was cold
Just needed to throw
A blanket over
For just a minute
Of our business
And too sad
Kobe and Gigi died on January 26 in a helicopter crash in the hills of Calabasas, California. Six additional passengers and the pilot also perished. They were headed to a basketball game at Mamba Academy in Thousand Oaks, where Gianna was a player and Kobe was a coach. Vanessa honored her late loved ones during a public memorial service at the Staples Center on February 24.
“God knew they couldn’t be on this earth without each other,” a tearful Vanessa stated, according to The New York Post. “He had to bring them home to heaven together.”
Vanessa remembered her 13-year-old daughter as “an amazingly sweet and gentle soul.”
“I could feel her love me. I loved the way she looked up at me while hugging me,” she said. “It was as if she was soaking me all in.”
She also shared the depth of her love for Kobe.
“He was my sweet husband, and the beautiful father of our children,” she said. “He was mine. He was my everything.”
Hours before the memorial, Vanessa filed a lawsuit against the helicopter company, as Blavity previously reported. In the suit, the widow argued the aircraft shouldn’t have been allowed to take off since the weather was foggy and visibility was limited.
The court papers state pilot Ara George Zobayan "failed to properly monitor and assess the weather prior to takeoff, failed to obtain proper weather data prior to the flight, failed to abort the flight when he knew of the cloudy condition, failed to maintain control of the helicopter and failed to avoid 'natural obstacles' in the flight path."