“Collision” by Gale Acuff

In Sunday School today I died and went
to Heaven when I saw Miss Hooker, my
teacher, for the first time, her red hair and
green eyes and freckles and painted toenails
which is probably a sin or is that
are? I don’t want to go to Hell when I
die if I got it wrong, I want to go
to Heaven where Miss Hooker’s bound to go
when she dies, if she ever dies, of course
she will, everybody has to, but
she’s not just anybody and wouldn’t it
be really good of God if He let just
one person out of all Creation and
history, past, present, and
future, never die at all, never go
to Heaven or Hell but live on and on
and still be in pretty fair shape enough
to enjoy it even when he’s ancient

or she? I’d vote for Miss Hooker but then
I’d never get to see her in Heaven
after I die and go there, that is if
God doesn’t dump me in Hell for my sins
which will probably be what’s square. After
class this morning I helped Miss Hooker with
her Bible and papers and felt board and
stacked the hymnals and straightened the chairs and
walked her to her Ford Pinto, the kind of
ride that blows up when it’s rear-ended, not
that Miss Hooker’s afraid nor even that
she ought to be–I wanted to warn her
but decided not to, we’ve all got to
go sometime and who really wants to live
forever? That’s the lesson for today.

* * *

Gale Acuff has had poetry published in Ascent, Ohio Journal, Descant, Adirondack Review, Concho River Review, Worcester Review, Maryland Poetry Review, Florida Review, South Carolina Review, Arkansas Review, Carolina Quarterly, Poem, South Dakota Review, Santa Barbara Review, Sequential Art Narrative in Education, and many other journals. He has authored three books of poetry: Buffalo Nickel (BrickHouse Press, 2004), The Weight of the World (BrickHouse, 2006), and The Story of My Lives (BrickHouse, 2008).He has taught university English in the US, China, and the Palestinian West Bank.

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