Gale Acuff


Miss Hooker knows her Bible backwards and
forwards and probably side-to side
so after Sunday School this morning I
asked her to marry m even though she’s
25 to my 10, I’ll wait for her
to get even older while I do, too,
my 16 or 18 or 21
to her fifteen years beyond those ages
and to sweeten the deal I told her that
even though we know that she’ll die before
me I’ll still be faithful, I’ll never get
spliced again so that when she looks down on
me from her perch or pedestal above,
Heaven I mean, she’ll still be satisfied

that I’m faithful. And what’s more, I added
–I can be generous when I’m in love
–I’ll even get saved, maybe not right now
and she shouldn’t count on next week, neither,
but by and by so to make it sort of
sneak up on her and be more romantic
that way. And I finished my proposal
by telling her that all she has to do
is tell me one of those grand stories from
the Good Book. Damn!–there’s nothing better than
listening to Miss Hooker tell about
David and Goliath or Moses and
Pharaoh, featuring the Red Sea, and then
there’s Daniel in the lion’s den and from
the New Testament all about Jesus,
you just can’t beat a good old miracles,
or Saul being zapped by God on his ass,
I mean donkey, or maybe it was
a horse. If you run out of tales, I said,
I don’t mind hearing the old ones again
and again. Miss Hooker listened while she
crammed her gear back in her pocketbook, her
Bible, too, then asked me to walk her to
her F-150, which I did but it
was more like she walked me, I can’t explain

and I sure as Hell can’t drive, but as I
opened the cab-door for her and she was
about to step up and in she stepped out
again but in reverse, of course, then knelt
to me and kissed me on the jaw and said
I need some time to think about it, Dear,
marrying me she meant–I said, Yes ma’am,
take all the time you need, I ain’t goin’
nowhere, like out of state or dying, not
that I know of, knock on wood, then I rapped
my skull three magical times–boy, that hurts
if you put your heart into it. I do.


Gale Acuff has had many poems published in literary journals and has authored three books of poetry. He has taught university English in the US, China, and Palestine.