When I'm dead I won't regret it, they say at Sunday School but I say we'll see though not to my teacher there, I keep it to myself but I don't want to die at all even if it means eternal life, who needs that when God is man enough to keep folks from dying at all and there's plenty of room on Earth for everyone even if no one expires--if the universe can expand then why not the planet and after Sunday School I told my teacher that if I was God I'd make a better Earth than He did but she told me to go home and think about my blasphemy so maybe next week I won't be so damn wise. Sometimes I wish that God would kill me now so I can go to Heaven to be judged and if He sends me down to Hell at least I can say that I've seen Him although I don't know whom I'd tell, all those folks in flames will have seen Him, too, before He judged them and sent them Satan's way, which is God's way, too, in a strange sort of way, that's what they say at church and Sunday School but any -way if I die tomorrow then I won't have to wait the rest of my natural life to reach Eternity--I wonder if God knows that I want to be with Him so badly I'm willing to go to Hell and none too soon? I'm too true to be good. Forsaken One day when I'm dead I'll be happy is what I'm told at Sunday School, as long as I'm in the Good Place and not the Bad but to get there I have to sacrifice, that's what Jesus did, they say, I don't have to be crucified like He was but I'd best give up most if not all (impossible they say) of my evil ways and I'm ten years old and already I've sinned enough to fetch me Hell if I died tomorrow or even sooner so if I forsake sin now, have short-term pain for long-term gain, then I won't regret it like the truth is I do already. Is that good as dead?
Gale Acuff has had poetry published in Ascent, Reed, Poet Lore, Chiron Review, Poem, Adirondack Review, Poet Lore, Florida Review, Slant, Nebo, Arkansas Review, South Dakota Review, Roanoke Review, and many other journals in eleven 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 US, China, and Palestine.