Teaching English

Jo Carson | I am asking you to come back home

"I am asking you to come back home before you lose the chance of seein’ me alive" poem about old age by Jo Carson

I am asking you to come back home

a poem by Jo Carson

I am asking you to come back home
before you lose the chance of seein’ me alive.
You already missed your daddy.
You missed your uncle Howard.
You missed Luciel.
I kept them and I buried them.
You showed up for the funerals.
Funerals are the easy part.

You even missed that dog you left.
I dug him a hole and put him in it.
It was a Sunday morning, but dead animals
don’t wait no better than dead people.

My mama used to say she could feel herself
runnin’ short of the breath of life. So can I.
And I am blessed tired of bury in’ things I love.
Somebody else can do that job to me.
You’ll be back here then; you come for funerals.

I’d rather you come back now and got my stories.
I’ve got whole lives of stories that belong to you.
I could fill you up with stories,
stories I ain’t told nobody yet,
stories with your name, your blood in them.
Ain’t nobody gonna hear them if you don’t
and you ain’t gonna hear them unless you get back home

When I am dead, it will not matter
how hard you press your ear to the ground.


by Jo Carson

54  [I am asking you to come back home]

in Stories I Ain’t Told Nobody Yet  

Some notes

A beautiful poem about old age and how abandoned and lonely the elderly feel. It is about life, it is about loss, it is about the inevitable death of what people don’t pass on to the next generation. 

It is an inspiring tool to raise awareness among younger generations. Here are some tips on how to use it in the classroom on International Day for Older Persons 

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