Gale Acuff: “Die and you go to Heaven or Hell says”

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Die and you go to Heaven or Hell says

our Sunday School teacher so I raise my
hand and ask What if I live forever
and my classmates laugh and I join them but
I’m a hypocrite, I was serious, don’t
tell me that no one out there in the world
hasn’t or maybe even isn’t, some
-one’s as old as the hills of Granny’s chest
or even older, Methuselah-old
but a lot more than that and I wonder
if that could be our teacher, too, she looks
25 but you never know and then
she says Gale, don’t be silly–now please
lead us in the Lord’s Prayer. God damn it.

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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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More by Gale Acuff:

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Image Credit: Ben Shahn “Sunday school, Penderlea Homesteads, North Carolina” (1937) Public Domain photo courtesy of The Library of Congress