Laughter poem by Frances H. Kakugawa

Laughter so infectious,
“We all fall down.”

How can a piece of string seven feet in length
Bring so much laughter, so much joy?

Five preschool children have turned themselves into a horse,
Galloping where only childhood minds can take them.

Five bodies, turned into horses with a piece of string,
Reining each in, gallop and neigh in the coral sand.

So much laughter, tears.

A truckload of high school boys
Drag an empty Pepsi can at the end of a string from the back of a moving truck.

The sound of the can bouncing against the coral ground brings laughter.
Laughter from the gut
Where real laughter resides.

A piece of string tied to a little child’s rubber zori forgotten in a rain puddle
As the sun sets passionately, silently into the sea.

I hear the laughter even in the silence
Where once a child had sailed across the tiny lake
And out into the deep blue sea.

Nowhere, nowhere, have I heard such laughter.

Not in video game arcades, not in air-conditioned movie houses,
Not in television rooms, or on busy city streets.

As infectious and genuine and real as the day they were born
On this island called home.