When the world ends I expect to be so
By: Gale Acuff
dead that it won't matter to me, there's no
death if you're dead already, I'm counting
on it and want to live forever but
that's not possible on Earth they say at
Sunday School, only when you're deceased and
then you'll want to spend death in Heaven, not
Hell, where even dead you'll feel pain like you'd
never feel on Earth in a zillion years
and I'm only 10 now and still alive
but it hurts like Hell just to think of it
and when I told my Sunday School teacher
she laughed and laughed, then whispered like the folks
in love on TV You take religion
so seriously and I said I do.
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.
"The young speaker is probably unconsciously deconstructing and mashing certain religious traditions which have become cliches ('I do' there in the last line) or at least a bit tired or tiresome. I can't say the poem is autobiographical though I spent a couple of years attending Sunday School regularly and can recall being disappointed that though the lessons would vary the main message was always the same. There was something annoying about that constancy but, at that time, I couldn't articulate my reaction."