J.R., 78, in San Francisco, CA

Into the Seventh Month

That first day, Monday, March 16th, I raced up the block from work to the Aveda beauty store. The guy didn’t want to let me in, but I convinced him by showing a photo on my phone of the hair mousse I wanted to buy.

My brother calls me every morning, at 8, sometimes 8.01.  We joke that we talk about nothing.  Nothing takes 25 or 30 minutes.

He is a gardener now, and the conversation revolves around the tomatoes, hundreds of them, he cans them, gives them away…what he is cooking for dinner, if he is going fishing.

I took so much for granted – I realize this every day on my walks.

And some days are just very very long.


Jane Rades grew up in Wisconsin, then moved out to San Francisco in 1963 to attend the San Francisco Art Institute. She has been in San Francisco ever since except for a year in the high desert of New Mexico. She moved back to San Francisco because she missed the fog and the cable cars and the other poets. In the 1970s she found it easier (and less expensive) to write rather than paint.

She has published two books of poetry, “Five Decades, A Rosary of Poems”, by Beatitude Press in 2008, and “Midnight at Mom and Dad’s in 2011. In 2012 she published a book on the Tarot, “Two Years in the Tarot, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Fortuneteller”.  In 2013 she published a Tarot deck, “The 1969 Tarot”.  All are available on her website at www.janerades.com.

[submitted on 11/11/2020]

Life in Quarantine: Witnessing Global Pandemic is an initiative sponsored by the Poetic Media Lab and the Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis at Stanford University.

Our Sponsors and Partners

Find Us!

Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis (CESTA),
Stanford University

4th floor, Wallenberg Hall (bldg. 160)
450 Jane Stanford Way
Stanford, CA 94305
Stanford Mail Code: 2055