by Gale Acuff

When I wake up dead in Heaven I want to see Miss Hooker leaning over me, she’s my Sunday School teacher and fifteen years older which means that she’ll likely be dead before I will, welcoming me but first of course I’ll have to see God to be judged and if I come up short, which wouldn’t surprise me, then I’ll have to go to Hell but I hope that He’ll give me enough time to say goodbye to Miss Hooker, after all, we’ll never see each other again since she’ll go on being an angel and I’ll be a little devil down in Hell, not that I’m not a little devil now on earth and only 10 to Miss Hooker’s 25, and maybe that’s why I sin so much, God made me the wrong age or made Miss Hooker so or at any rate He could’ve put us much closer together in time, I mean the same age for romance, but as it is I’ll have to wait until I’m 18 to Miss Hooker’s 33 and even then we’ll only have a few good years together, maybe enough for a few babies, then before I know it she’s on the twilight side of 40 and there’s not much life left to her and then she dies, leaving me and maybe some children pretty much alone until we die, too, like I will but I’ll see her again when I open my eyes in Heaven, at least near the front gate or maybe in the hall, which is where I came in. After Sunday School this morning I told Miss Hooker all about it. She had to sit down and take off her glasses and then fan herself with her church program. I was on my feet and taller than she was. If God knows what’s good for Him He’ll beget us eternity.


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