For my friend Diane Picker

by Tanya Southey   Feb 25, 2020


We did not want to meet,
fierce migrants, wanting to fit in
and hang out with the locals.
A year of mutual stubbornness -
until a friend wore us down.
We both had intended to only meet once
to silence the nagging.

I loved you from the moment
I saw the light steaming out of your face
You laughed with a joy
I had rarely seen before

We spoke about deep oceans of life
You showed me how colour came in different shades
And got me thinking of things
way before the rest of the world caught up

You had an immovable belief in me
telling me about things I would do that I had
not even thought of myself
And you made music come alive
We would dance in my lounge in the afternoon
like crazy fools, just taken by the rhythm

I remember going to a Pink Martini concert
I did not know you would be there
When a conga line came through the audience
of course, you were leading it
You face just burning joy

Your brain was built for designing
We’d go on walks and suddenly
you would be distracted by a leaf
Not any leaf but one
that had a structure you thought was amazing

You took my Catholic soul
and invited it to your Jewish Shabbat
We put our hands on our children’s heads
And prayed for the light of Ruth to enter their lives
your reverence as great as your joy
Then we broke challah and shared wine

I have watched the maggot
of disease eat your brain but
it hasn’t taken your spirit

Recently I said, “I am so sad this is
happening to you, Di”
And you laughed your big laugh and said
“Tunz, we are all going to die”
And you made it sound like we
were all getting a pony for Christmas,
the wonder of it all,
this crazy thing we call existence.

Slowly you will forget who you are
when that happens
and your canvas is blank
I will remember and dance for you.

© Tanya Southey @Ordinary Poetry

Footnote: Diane was in her mid-fifties when she was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers and I wrote this for her then. Sadly she passed away and this is the second anniversary of the planet being a sadder place without her.

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Latest Comments

  • 1 month ago

    by sarah shahzad

    Very Powerful! ! ! Wonderful Write! ! ! Thank You So Much For Sharing This!

    • 1 month ago

      by Tanya Southey

      Thank you I want the world to remember her, even if they did not know her.

  • 1 month ago

    by Ben Pickard

    Congratulations and condolences all at once, Tanya.

  • 1 month ago

    by Brenda

    Tanya, I'm sorry for your loss. Your friend sounded like an awesome person.

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