Gale Acuff

I love God and Jesus, therefore I’ll be

royally pissed if I die and wake up
dead and They’re not around, nor the Devil
neither–I’ll be steamed and want to break things
but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to,
not that there’s some holy or unholy
law against it but that there’s nothing break
-able over yonder, the next life, the life
to come but to get it first you’ve got to
croak and leave behind the ordinary
life for life eternal but if I go
and there’s nothing there, maybe not even
me, I won’t be satisfied and at church
today I told my Sunday School teacher so
and made her cry. There’s got to be a Hell.

When I die I go to Heaven or Hell

and I’d rather go to Heaven because
that’s where my Sunday School teacher’s going
or says she wants to and I love her so
I hope so, too, somewhere in the Bible
somebody says that whenever two or
more (but two’s enough for me) are gathered
in my name (it’s coming back to me now,
that would be Jesus) then I will be with
them and they’ll get what they want or something
like that so I want to go to Heaven,
I’ve seen the light and her name is Miss Hooker
and even being away from her six
days a week is Hell enough–I’d tell her
but I think it’s a sin. Don’t ask me why.

Gale Acuff has had poetry published in Ascent, Reed, Poet Lore,Chiron ReviewCardiff Review, Poem, Adirondack Review, Florida ReviewSlantNeboArkansas Review, South Dakota ReviewRoanoke Review and many other journals in a dozen countries. He has authored three books of poetry:Buffalo Nickel,The Weight of the World, and The Story of My Lives. He has taught university English courses in the United States, China, and Palestine.

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Winter 2021