Three Poems By Gale Acuff

Even though I'm only ten years old I
don't have much time remaining to me in
the sense that I could die at just any
time, God could take me back to His bosom
or wherever it is I'm really from,
I get a little confused in Sunday
School but I'm a decent student, I show
up every Sabbath though I guess I'm not
much more saved than my friends who don't attend
but maybe God will have mercy on me
and so on so that when I croak I get
to dwell in Heaven and not in Hell but
then again if folks were humble like they
claim to be maybe every soul would strike
against God and demand the fire instead
of the harp. Unless it's a mouth organ. 
I'll be dead one day and at Sunday School
they say that's when I'll really start to live,
a paradox is what my teacher calls
it, I'm ten years old, words to me still mean
what they stand in for more than they hint at
in some spacey way that's for grownups though
I'm sweet on a girl in my Sunday School
class and she's like an adult that way though
she's only my age, too, she's mature for
her years that is, I don't mean her body
but anyway she might wind up being
a teacher, too, and maybe even my
wife, which would make me her husband and then
we'll have kids who look kind of half-and-half,
her half mostly, I hope. She loves me not. 
Die die die cries the Devil in my dream
and I reply Okay okay okay
right back at him but that calls his bluff so
then he disappears and Jesus takes his
place and He says Die die die so I say
No no no, get thee behind me, Satan,
which isn't nice of me at all but then
I'm only ten years old, sin to me's not
what I'm told it is to somebody who's
wiser as well and then I normally
wake and there's no Satan nor Jesus, just
God Almighty maybe and thank the stars
that I don't see Him at all and that's not
only good but it's perfect or damn nigh.
I couldn't have done much better myself. 

Gale Acuff has had poetry published in Grand Little Things (22 July 2020),  AscentReed, Poet Lore, Chiron ReviewCardiff Review, PoemAdirondack 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.

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