2 poems by Gale Acuff

Gale Acuff has had hundreds of poems published in several countries
and is the author of three books of poetry. He has taught university
English in the US, China, and Palestine.

Holy Mother

I ate too much candy Easter morning and

got sick and missed church and Sunday School so

I blame Satan for all that, he tempted me

and I took the bait and now I’m grounded

for the rest of the day, I can’t even

go outside and play with the dog and we

don’t even have one – how’s that for injustice? And

if God had any mercy He’d throw some

my way. At least I got to have supper.

I just might throw a sheet around me and

have a seat and grab a crescent roll, hope

we’re having those tonight, they’re damn good, and

pull it apart and say to my folks, Eat,

this is my body, and reach for Mother’s

cup of Mogen David and have a sip

or at least purple my lips with some and

say, Drink, this is my blood, shed for you, and then

add, because I forgot, about the bread,

broken for you. It’s what’s called sacrifice,

I’m only 10 but I’m learning to be

a Hell of a lot older, the kind of

beating that comes from Father, not Mother.

The Father and Son are one, I’ll sob,

aren’t they, Momma? Maybe she’ll break it up.

He Will Not Depart from It

After Sunday School I’m born again, I’m

free from religion for another week

and the hour I spend in class is like two

weeks but I have to attend, my folks send

me there for the morals they say, they don’t

go themselves but sleep in, sometimes they’re not

even up when I get home at noon so

I wake ’em myself and while they dress make

bacon and eggs and toast for us after

I change my new skin for old, I think that’s

from the Bible, something about booze, I

don’t drink, I’m only ten years old, but one

day I will, smoke as well, and drive too fast

and call in to work to tell ’em I’m sick

when I’m not, it’s the World Series, and be

pretty much like my parents are and when

it’s time to send my kid to Sunday School

make him go to church, too, or her, double

-down on ’em the way my folks should me but

they’re afraid that I might go to Heaven.

Now that you're here

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