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When I'm An Old Lady
Joanne Bailey Baxter


When I'm an old lady, I'll live with each kid,
And bring so much happiness just as they did.
I want to pay back all the joy they've provided.
Returning each deed! Oh, they'll be so excited!
(When I'm an old lady and live with my kids...)
I'll write on the walls with reds, whites, and blues,
And bounce on the furniture...wearing my shoes.
I'll drink from the carton and then leave it out.
I'll stuff all the toilets and oh, how they'll shout!
(When I'm an old lady and live with my kids...)
When they're on the phone and just out of reach,
I'll get into things like sugar and bleach.
Oh, they'll snap their fingers and then shake their head,
And when that is done, I'll hide under the bed.
(When I'm an old lady and live with my kids...)
When they cook dinner and call me to eat,
I'll not eat my green beans or salad or meat.
I'll gag on my okra, spill milk on the table,
And when they get angry...I'll run...if I'm able!
(When I'm an old lady and live with my kids...)
I'll sit close to the TV, through the channels I'll click,
I'll cross both eyes just to see if they stick.
I'll take off my socks and throw one away,
And play in the mud 'til the end of the day!
(When I'm an old lady and live with my kids...)
And later in bed, I'll lay back and sigh,
I'll thank God in prayer and then close my eyes.
My kids will look down with a smile slowly creeping,
And say with a groan, "She's so sweet when she's sleeping!"

This poem is in the public domain.


Joanne Bailey Baxter (1930 – 2018), lived in Ohio her entire life. An elementary school teacher for 34 years, she was a Sunday School teacher, enjoyed traveling with her husband, and loved music and writing. A gifted poet, her work was widely published, both locally and nationally. This poem has sometimes been erroneously attributed to others, but Joanne’s son, David Baxter, confirms that she is the author and wrote and published it in 1991.



Post New Comment:
Lori Levy:
This is great!
Posted 05/11/2024 03:57 PM
Sharon Waller Knutson:
I was delighted and charmed by this wise and witty poem. The catchy title reeled me in and the creative surprises kept me reading to the last line. I love how she repeats the line: "When I am an old lady and live with my kids" like a threat and then comes up with a new atrocity kids do that drive their mothers crazy. Perfect Mother's Day poem.
Posted 05/11/2024 10:41 AM
How spirited and sweet! I hope Joanne got to live with each kid!
Posted 05/11/2024 09:57 AM
Gilbert Allen:
Playful and poignant.
Posted 05/11/2024 09:01 AM
Larry Schug:
Grand! I can see these thoughts behind my mother's eyes. We miss her so much.
Posted 05/11/2024 08:31 AM
Darrell Arnold:
I wish Joanne was still alive so I could let her know how much I love this poem. I have often wondered how my own dear mother put up with all of the nonsense perpetrated by myself and my four brothers. We were loud and rowdy and totally unaware of how inconsiderate we were. She never did get even with us.
Posted 05/11/2024 08:16 AM
I love it!!!! It works for us old men too!!!!
Posted 05/11/2024 07:36 AM

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