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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 6, Number 1, March 2012


Francis W. Alexander
Sandusky, Ohio, USA

The Pre Going Home

After they pull the plug on Mom's life support, the nurse lets us fill the room. She brings us refreshments, and suggests we huddle around the bed and tell stories, because like us, she believes comatose patients can hear. After a few amusing tales are told, my sister Charita belts out a religious song.

chilly night
a patient tells the nurses
the radio's too loud

While they sing, my mind is filled with memories. Many were the times I sat in her apartment and spun 45's. She especially liked the Motown artists and James Brown. Other times, my stepfather, Big Mack, entertained her with a Temptations song, crooning, "As pretty as you are . . . "

As the years progressed, Charita's gospel singing reputation helped transform Mom's likes into religious music. Now she, Dameka, and Aunt Donna take turns leading. "He's my rock," one sings, while the others follow with the refrain, "I love to praise his name."

the comfort of home
listening to record
after record after record

Note: In some Black churches, home going is synonymous with funeral. Thus, I called this event a pre home going party.



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