Home Tags Posts tagged with "Gale Acuff Poet"

Gale Acuff Poet

I don’t want to die, not that I am but

by Gale Acuff

only in the sense that everyone is,
is dying that is, there’s something about
birth and life to follow that’s dying, too,
but that’s what religion is for, I guess,
I’m ten years old, I don’t know very much
of anything much less that, religion
that is, but at church and Sunday School it’s
the most important stuff and even at
regular school it crops up now and then
even if it’s against the law but what
I like best about religion is no
tests like in regular school, except for
God’s judgment of your immortal soul when
you’re croaked. Not that you’re not croaking all along.

Everybody has to die but they don’t

have to be born but I guess they are, I
was anyway, ten years ago, my folks
are responsible along with God and
Jesus and the Holy Ghost, I guess–damn,
that must’ve been a crowded bed, ha ha,
that’s what I said to Father that got me
grounded and a Don’t tell your mother
you said such a thing or I’ll wallop you,
which drew a Yes sir from me and when I
have my honeymoon I’ll tell the story
to my wife and hope she laughs, that should break
the tension, making love can get messy
is what I hear but it helps you to sleep
and rise again but first you snore louder.

Nobody lives forever, yet they do

in Hell or Heaven, immortality
is what it is, of their souls anyway,
that’s what I get from church and Sunday School
every week, I mean that teaching and not
immortality but on the other
hand maybe going and listening and
singing and praying and plunking nickels
into the collection plate is the way
to eternal life and I have perfect
attendance so I’m on the right track to
Heaven, then again you live forever
even in the Bad Place–the quality
of your death must be what matters
but when I asked my teacher she said Please.

Nobody lives forever unless they’re

dead they say at Sunday School and it kind
of makes sense, when you’re alive anyway,
paradox is what I guess that is,
a fancy word that means impossible
but so but then that’s religion through and
through so if there really is a God, which
I sort of doubt but then I’m only ten
years old, He won’t be very easy to
understand, or She, mysterious ways
is what God’s got I’m told at Sunday School
and it’s funny that I can believe that
but can’t believe in God or Jesus or
the Holy Ghost or even the Mighty Thor
or Hercules. But who believes in me?


Gale Acuff has had hundreds of poems published in a dozen countries and has authored three books of poetry. He has taught tertiary English courses in the US, PR China, and Palestine.