Category Archives: Gale Acuff


Gale Acuff

When I grow up I’m going to marry
my Sunday School teacher, Miss Hooker, though
she’s 25 to my 10 and when I hit
16 she’ll still be just as old, fifteen
years, but somehow she will have changed by
then–I’ll be an adult, too, like she is,
which will take a few years off the difference.
Still, the numbers don’t lie–she’ll die first and
leave me alone, the way I am now but
worse, I guess, because I don’t have her now
but I’ll have her then and then she’ll be gone
and I’ll be sad, sadder than I am now.
So I might be happier if I fall

in love with someone else, someone my own
age. Oh, but I don’t want anyone else
–what other woman has red hair and green
eyes, the colors of Christmas, and freckles
so many that I’d never count them all?
But I’ll try, I guess on our wedding night,
when we’ll take off all our clothes and that means
we’ll be naked, if only in the dark
but my eyes will adjust so if I can’t
see her freckles maybe I’ll see something

else, the bigger parts that clothing hides, which
will be okay and I’ll try not to show
my disappointment and the next morning
while she’s still asleep I’ll pull the covers
back slowly so that I don’t wake her and
start counting and if I lose count I’ll start
all over again because we’re going
to be together for some time, at least
until she dies of old age first or in
some other way that could happen to me,
too, I mean death by accident, choking

on a pepperoni or being smashed
by a car or struck by lightning or drowned
or murdered or stung and stung again by
bees or bitten by a poisonous snake
or a bad dog. The possibilities
are endless. Then again we could expire
at the same time–that would be good because
neither of us would be alive to miss
the other and besides Miss Hooker’s my
Sunday School teacher so what’s God going
to do when we show up before the Throne
of Judgment–send her to Heaven and me
to Hell? We’re a team. Still, I’ve got to sin

a Hell of a lot less than I do now
but I think I can do it for her sake
–God’s, that is. I’ll throw in Jesus, too. Just
what do couples do on their honeymoon?
Besides sleeping in the same bed, I mean?
We can order pizza and watch TV,
thin crust–Man does not live by bread alone
–and read comic books or the Bible and
play cards and Monopoly and Yahtzee
or listen to the radio or I
could tell her over and over how much
I love her and help her to have a baby
because by then I think I’ll know better
than I do now, which is not at all but
I think it helps to close the bedroom door

and maybe lock it and turn out the light
and shake hands and kiss each other’s lips and
more than once, and like you mean it, and with
all the lips you have. We’ll have four. And
go to sleep since we’ll be tired, the wedding
and reception and some dancing and Schlitz,
which I guess I’ll like by then. And champagne,
like ginger ale but with smaller bubbles.
I’ll already be up when Miss Hooker
wakes next morning. What would you like to do
today, I’ll ask her. She’ll yawn and stretch and
say, I don’t care, anything you want to.
I sure do love you, I’ll say. She’ll smile and
say, That’s fine, Gale–the way she does in class
when she calls on me to lead us all in
the Lord’s Prayer and when I say it right
without forgetting some words or giggling.
I guess you could say I worship her,

ha ha. As long as I’m kidding it’s no
sin to say so, I hope. I’ll need to find
a job, especially if we want kids
and so I can buy her a new car and
diamonds. And when she dies of old age
or anything else, I’ll visit her grave
every Sunday and say the Lord’s Prayer
right and like I mean it. And when I die
I’ll see her again and shake her hand
and kiss her, if we still have hands and lips.
But if we don’t I guess we’ll get divorced.

©2012 This work is the property of the author.

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