by Gale Acuff
If I was God I’d cancel Sunday School mornings when our teacher, Miss Hooker, is sick because then we’re stuck with a substitute and when I look at her it’s Miss Hooker I see but in her bed at home, weeping and sometimes burning up with fever like I do when I have the flu or a bug so I can’t pay attention to the Word and of course can’t see Miss Hooker up there making an impression on us kids, God too–she must be impressing Him when she’s hale and preaching like mad but I wonder what God does for her when she’s alone and not just alone but sick as well, maybe He makes her dream dreams that are dreamier than mine, with angels in ’em or giants or Pharaoh or the lions in Daniel’s den or Moses’ stick loosening up to become a snake or Lazarus forth-ing or Jesus stuffing the multitude with just a few sardines and some crescent rolls which are my favorite because they’re twisted. I guess there’s more to being sick than just throwing up–if God is with you then you suffer and sort of die or wish you would but maybe three days later you’re back in business, I mean you live again, risen like they say–me, when I’m that poorly I
toss and turn and vomit a lot and dream of Miss Hooker, though it’s not biblical, that she sits beside my bed or even on the edge and is something like a nurse and something like a wife, a wife who loves her husband more than Mother does Father but that’s another story. And to be fair to them, when I’m under the weather–indisposed is what my father calls it–they like each other again or at least fake their love pretty well, imagine what they might do for themselves if I was dead, or is that were–they’d have to make me all over again. Maybe I could help them.
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.