Gale Acuff


After Sunday School I took off my clip
-on bow tie as I walked home because I
was free again for six more days and did
my weekly duty by God, going there
where He hangs out on Sundays, church I mean
and Sunday School, and praying and singing
and trying to stay awake and trying
not to giggle or let my mind wander
into sin, sin’s for other days even
though it shouldn’t be for any day but
without it what would Jesus have to do,
He couldn’t forgive anybody or
suffer the children to come unto Him
or make any of us fishers of men.
Sometimes I wonder if we’ve been set up,
Adam and Eve fell to give God something
to do with His life, His time anyway,
or whatever He has that we have less
of. The truth is that without folks there’s no
God at all so when I took off my clip
-on bow tie and could breathe easier since
more oxygen got to my brain as weak
as my brain is I felt like God Himself
because I finally figured Him out.
And yet when I’m depressed I turn to Him
in my weakness, I’ve got a lot of it,
it’s my strength you might say, and sometimes cry
to be forgiven and when I die not
be thrown into the Everlasting Lake
of Fire when I do. That’s when I want to
put on my Sunday suit again even
though it might be Saturday or Monday,
so to look smart, I guess like God Himself
though I’ll bet when He wears one He ties it
like Father does, kind of complicated
but in just a few seconds. That’s real class.

Bio: Gale Acuff has been previously published in Maryland ReviewOhio JournalAscent, DescantWorcester ReviewArkansas ReviewFlorida ReviewSouth Carolina Review, Sequential Art Narrative in Education, and other journals. He is the author of three books of poetry: Buffalo Nickel (BrickHouse Press, 2004), The Weight of the World (BrickHouse, 2006), and The Story of My Lives (BrickHouse, 2008). He has taught university English in the US, China, and the Palestinian West Bank.

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