by Gale Acuff

I don’t want to die but I don’t want to  

live, neither, so what’s left I ask my Sun 

-day School teacher but she just folds her arms 

and shakes her head and frowns as she looks down 

on me, which she has to do anyway 

because she’s 25 to my 10 but 

now she’s looking even down-er and I 

feel even smaller so then I tell her 

that I’ll pray about it and next week when 

I’m back in Sunday School my attitude 

will be changed and she’ll be happy again 

but then she starts to cry–that should be me 

shedding tears and I’d tell her so but she’d 

say that tears are like Christ’s blood. I can’t win.


Mr. Acuff’s work has appeared in Ascent, Chiron Review, Pennsylvania Literary Journal, Poem, Adirondack Review, Maryland Poetry Review, Florida Review, Slant, Nebo, Arkansas Review, South Dakota Review, and many other journals. He has authored three books of poetry, all from BrickHouse Press: Buffalo NickelThe Weight of the World, and The Story of My Lives.