Two Poems

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by Gale Acuff (January 2023)


Classroom Scene, William Henry Johnson, 1946

 

Nobody goes to Hell at the church a
-cross the street, they all go to Heaven be
-cause when Jesus was crucified He died
once and for all for all their sins but here
at our church, and Sunday School, too, atone
-ment, vicarious atonement, isn’t
enough, we’ve got to get saved all over
and born again and promise under pen
-alty of Perdition to pray and read
our Bible and do good deeds and love our
enemies whether they’re our neighbors or
nix so after Sunday School this morning
I asked my teacher if I quit and start
attending church and Sunday School over
there will she join me and she said Hell, yes.

 

 

I fell asleep in Sunday School today
like Pharaoh did, Jacob’s Pharaoh I think
it was, and like him dreamt of kine and kine
is a fancy word for cattle but be
-fore I could dream of them completely through
our teacher woke me up to my classmates’
laughter and when I opened my eyes asked
did I have a pleasant nap, that she, too,
would like to sleep on Sunday mornings but
God requires that we worship Him so I
apologized and said I won’t eat ham
-burgers anymore, ma’am, and I advise
you to do the same, or is that
not do
the same
, and my classmates laughed again but
not as loud as before. Is that loudly?

 

Table of Contents

 

Gale Acuff has had hundreds of poems published in a dozen countries and has authored three books of poetry. His poems have appeared in Ascent, Reed, Arkansas Review, Poem, Birmingham Poetry Review, Florida Review, South Carolina Review, Carolina Quarterly, Roanoke Review, Ohio Journal, Sou’wester, South Dakota Review, North Dakota Quarterly, and many other magazines and journals. He has taught tertiary English courses in several countries and is presently teaching at Arab American University in Jenin, Palestine.

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