Gale Acuff: “Rub”

 

 

Rub

One day when I’m dead I won’t be, I’ll be
alive, they say, in Heaven or Hell, and
I’ll go to one or the other depend
-ing on how I behave on Earth, either
way I get eternal life but to get
it I’ve got to die, there’s the rub, that’s what
the Bible says or maybe Shakespeare or
Stan Lee or Stephen King or some kids-books
authors but anyway for ten years old
I’m pretty awful, if I died right now
I’d go to Hell and you’d never get to
finish this poem, lucky you, ha ha, I
mean finish reading it, of course you might
finish writing it for me and then you
go to Hell, too, like I will, then again
I could wind up in Heaven, a mistake
made by God’s accounts, say, you can show me
how you completed this poem and if you
didn’t care for the lines I wrote before
I croaked you can help me revise ’em, I’m
pretty easy that way, and besides I’ll
be dead and so will you, if eternal
-ly dead but anyway what can I do
in Heaven at least to wreak revenge and
as for Hell it might be neat to have folks
torture one another instead of Old
Scratch having all the fun for himself so
be gentle, you can’t get much more vulner
-able than dead, I think, you’re pretty weak
then, even a baby’s stronger, even
if you can’t be touched, or maybe you’re both
weak and strong. You might as well be living.

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About the Author: Gale Acuff has had poetry published in Ascent, Chiron Review, McNeese Review, Adirondack Review, Weber, Florida Review, South Carolina Review, Carolina Quarterly, Arkansas Review, Poem, South Dakota Review, 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).

Gale has taught university English in the US, China, and the Palestinian West Bank.

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Image Credit: Carl Fredrik Hill “The Cemetary” (1877) Public Domain

 

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