October 1, 2014

Poetry by Gale Acuff

Gale's poetry has been 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 

Last Breakfast

In Sunday School today I got saved, I
passed out, anyway, and Miss Hooker raised
me up again, not that I was dead for
real but I wasn't on my feet, either,
until she revived me--when I came to
she was slapping my cheeks, I mean on my
face, and they felt as red as her hair, her
eyes are green but I've got nothing like green
to me except maybe that I'm only
ten years old, and she's got a slew of freckles,
they look something like the stars spinning just
before I passed out, not enough breakfast,
I guess, sometimes I'm excited Sunday
mornings because then I see Miss Hooker
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the only time during the week. Maybe
I got slain in the spirit--after class
Miss Hooker held me back and questioned me
about what I saw when I couldn't see

like we should when we're not asleep and I
couldn't remember anything so she
asked me Did you have a vision, did I
see God or Jesus or the Holy Ghost
and I wanted to make her happy since
one day I want her to marry me and
me her even though she's 25 now
and one way to happiness is to lie
so I said, Yes ma'am, it's coming back now,
I saw Jesus standing there behind you
while you were telling the old one about
Joseph and the coat of many colors
and He was smiling, Jesus was, and when
you finished He led us all in prayer
and after we all shouted Amen He
vanished and then you resurrected me,
so to speak. Then Miss Hooker started to
cry and that's when I slipped away and I
don't know about next Sunday, it might rain.

~Gale Acuff

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