Juicy Fruit – Gale Acuff [Poetry]

Juicy Fruit

When I die I hope to go to Heaven
but if I go to Hell instead, so be
it–for ten years old, I sin a heap, and
I can’t seem to get my immortal soul
saved, that’s what Miss Hooker, my Sunday School
teacher says, she says, Gale, Gale, see to your
immortal soul, as she shakes her head and
frowns but it’s not in discouragement, more like
in love, which I wish she was with me, in
love I mean, but she’s 25 and that’s
old and beyond 30 and 40 folks
really start thinking about God a lot
and she’s bad enough at that as it is
or maybe I should say good, after all
she’ll get to Heaven, she works for the church
and she says that nobody knows when they’ll
die, God can take them at any time so
Be prepared and Don’t you dare die in sin,
she warns. In class this morning she caught me
chewing gum again, which is a sin, and
so is doing it in class, and because
she caught me once before and I promised
not to do it again and then lied, that’s
another sin, and if I’d had a heart
attack while chewing away that would have
meant Hell for sure. I promised Miss Hooker
after class that I wouldn’t chew gum in
there anymore. And this time I mean it,
I said, and I did, at least at the time,
though Miss Hooker says that I can fool her
but I can’t fool Jesus, He’s watching me.
Which is fair, since I’m watching Miss Hooker.
By Gale Acuff 
  • Gale Acuff has had poetry published in Ascent, McNeese Review, Pennsylvania Literary Journal, Poem, Weber, Maryland Poetry Review, Florida Review, Slant, Poem, Carolina Quarterly, Arkansas Review, South Dakota ReviewOrbis, 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).

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