Archive for the ‘aging’ Category

I didn’t think I was old. I thought when Andy Williams sang Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Younger than Springtime,  he was singing about me forever. Two days ago, I had to check my birth certificate when our governor said all old people  must be home bound. He can’t be talking about me. Oh no, he was talking about me. So I’m home bound like all the other old people. One last word to you, Coronovirus, and Governor Newsom,  for destroying my delusions.


Do not define me by age.

I am not Roosevelt, Truman,

Eisenhower, or JFK.


Do not define me by blue veins

bulging out on my spidery arms,

my gobbler, once a Hepburn, Audrey.


Do not define me by Rorschach,

On skin brushed with indelible ink.

A Pollock on the wall of MOMA.


Do not define me by a new dance step

Shuffling, shuffling –

My heels replaced by clogs.


I am

a rabbit out of a hat,

a three ring circus without net,

A whodunit without clues.

War and Peace, chapter one,

The second act.


I am

Without epilog.

From Dangerous Woman: Poetry for the Ageless by Frances Kakugawa





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Yesterday the line to the post office was so long,  I returned this morning. I waited in line for about 15 minutes. Walking out, I opened the door for a frail woman and man with walkers. They were leaving because of the long line. They had two packages in the basket of their walker. I offered to wait in line for them while they sat in the car. The man refused my offer while his wife looked at me with a smile.

He wanted those address labels so he could mail his packages elsewhere because of the line.I noticed his packages weren’t addressed. I thought of writing the address for them but respected his wishes. I went to the counter and told a teller, using a loud voice that made people in line look at me, “There are two handicapped people out there. I offered to wait in line for them but all they want are address labels which I can’t find anywhere. Do you have these labels?”

One teller just said, “We don’t have any.” Another teller said, “WE have them” and she gave me a stack of these labels. By then the elderly man had come in saying he can’t wait in line; he only wants those labels. I gave him the stack of labels. His wife came to tell me with tears, “You are a very kind person.” I touched her hand and wished her a good holiday. In my world, someone first in line would have given his/her space to the couple.

Yesterday I went to UC Davis hospital to get a test. I had in print, instructions to get someone at Information to escort me to Pulmonary because of its complicated location. The man at Info  told me abruptly, “No one’s here, just go left and right.” I took my pen out and said, “I’m instructed to have an escort but I will write your directions down.” He was rude and repeated, “Just go left and right.” A worker offered to escort me there.

Then she got confused with the bad signs along the long hallways and didn’t know which elevator to take. Another worker came and showed me the way. In conversing with the Pulmonary technician, I ended up agreeing to speak at their conference on Compassion in the Workplace next September at the hospital. The technician escorted me to down to the entrance. In my world, people who work with patients don’t need such a conference.



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Morning Shock Waves


Who is this woman

In my morning mirror?

Who let this old

Japanese woman in?


I have fallen in aftershocks

From devastating earthquakes –

Aftershocked from broken romances –

Rear-ended crashes .

Avalanched by human cruelty –

But never, never, such

Aftershocks of this mirrored truth.

Get her out of here!!!


Frances Kakugawa 9-17-19

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