Bounce

I could love Jesus if He would love me
as much as I love Him--I don't know what
that means, exactly, but it sounds good and
anyway it came to me last night in
a dream, or after it I should say, I

sat up quickly in bed and opened my
eyes and what did I see in front of me
but the future? It looked dark but my eyes
adjusted or the darkness did to my
eyes and even though I still couldn't see to read
my Bible, which I forgot at Sunday
School anyway, I could still remember
enough to slide off the bed and fall in

-to prayer-position and ask God once
again to explain the meaning of life
to me because I'm already ten years
old and getting older every passing
moment and I don't want to have to wait
until I'm history to know it, bad
enough that I don't get to see God and
Jesus and the Holy Ghost and the whole

gang from the Good Book, Moses, Job, David,
and Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Paul, until
I'm dead and (knock on wood) in Heaven and
are they all dead, too? Maybe yes and no.
And Elvis. I'd ask Miss Hooker, my Sun
-day School teacher, but the last time I bounced

a question like that off her she put me
off until the following Sunday and
I forgot to remind her but I think
she didn't have an answer then, either,
and I don't want to crucify her, if
that's the right word--it may as well be. I

wonder what it's like in Heaven, not that
I'll find out necessarily because
I'm one Hell of a sinner, ha ha, and
I've found in my ten years that some sin's good,
it takes the edge off being pure, no one
really is anyway, except maybe
animals and plants and throw in a few

rocks, I can out-animal all of 'em
put together, I guess. After I prayed
myself calm--calmer--I climbed back into
bed and after a few sheep fell asleep
again--damn, that rhymes. Ninety-nine of 'em
and the lost one yours truly. Way to go.

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About the Author

Gale Acuff has had poetry published in Ascent, Reed, Poet Lore, Chiron Review, Cardiff Review, Poem, Adirondack Review, Florida Review, Slant, Nebo, Arkansas Review, South Dakota Review, Roanoke Review and many other journals in a dozen countries. He has authored three books of poetry: Buffalo Nickel, The Weight of the World, and The Story of My Lives. Gale has taught university English courses in the US, China, and Palestine. Thank you for looking at his work.