Poetry 2014 / Volume 45

Sniff — Gale Acuff

I love Miss Hooker and if it kills me
I’m going to marry her one day and
have some babies, as many as we can
however you make them, I’m only 10
and haven’t gotten that far in school yet,
regular school that is–Miss Hooker’s my
Sunday School teacher, maybe 25
and pretty old but at least still pretty
and if she’ll marry me when I’m 16
she’ll be 31 and when she’s 40
I’ll be her age now, it’s in the numbers,
25, and of course she’s got to die
and when she does I’ll probably still be
alive and going on alone without
anyone but our kids, of course. Maybe
I’ll marry again to give them a new
mother but then again maybe not, I
plan to be all broken-up for a while,
and soon it will be my turn to die and
follow Miss Hooker to wherever she’s
gone, I’ll sniff and sniff for her perfume or
maybe wake up dead in Heaven with her
hovering over me, she always was
like an angel, maybe I’ll tell her so
if I’ve got my wits about me when I
open my eyes and see her in her new
body, she says all believers get them,
but it will really have to go some to
beat her old one, I mean the one she has
now, red hair and green eyes and freckles. This
morning in Sunday School, I mean after,
I went up to Miss Hooker in her big
red chair and told her that I thought she’d make
a good wife for me when the time comes and
she smiled and told me that I’ll make some gal
a wonderful husband one day, which means
she’ll never fall for me, she’s turned me down
cold. Now I know why Jesus had to die.

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