Poems by Gale Acuff





Miss Hooker and I on our honeymoon,

she’s my Sunday School teacher, I’m only

ten years old, stayed up ‘til nearly midnight,

I mean in last night’s dream, I mean in mine,

I don’t know if she shared it, I mean out

-side my dream but if she did that’s a good

sign that one day it will come true, it’s called

–I forget what it’s called but the future

is what it sees and the dreamer, that’s me,

sees it, too, and if Miss Hooker saw it

as well then we’re going to be married

and marriage means that you get to stay up


as late as you like, with your wife by your

side snoozing–your wife, not your side–or you

snooze next to her and when it’s time for bed,

the test pattern being what’s left onscreen

at the end of the day of viewing or

maybe the jets zooming to the tune of

“The Star-Spangled Banner,” then she wakes you

or you wake her, funnily enough, for

bed, or if you don’t want to wake her you

pick her up carefully and make sure you

don’t knock her head against the end table

or on the bedroom door or jamb and if

she’s strong enough, I guess she could tote


you to bed, I guess that could happen, if

it happened now Miss Hooker could pull it

off, she’s 25 and a grown woman

and I’m just a boy and anyway I

didn’t dream that part last night or if I

did I don’t remember and anyway

it’s kind of traditional, I mean, to

watch TV in bed together on your

honeymoon so neither one has to touch

the other, I mean unless they want to

but of course we will, it’s expected, but

when that’s behind us, I think it’s stuff that

ends up making babies for a family,

there’s the national anthem again next

morning, and then a preacher-program to

follow, and then some news, and some cartoons,

and then maybe reruns of Leave it to

Beaver or Flipper or Sea Hunt or more                                                               

cartoons. So it’s a fine old time, getting

acquainted like that after you’ve been spliced.

Next Sunday at church, if I don’t forget,

I’ll ask Miss Hooker if she’s had any

unusual dreams lately. Unusual

in what way, she’ll ask. Oh, you know,

I’ll say–something about watching TV

in the dark with somebody you love or

will love someday and you’ll marry him and

make him the happiest guy on Earth. If

she says no, I’ll ask her to guess my weight.

Maybe she only dreamt the carrying.



Mighty Hermaphrodite


Nobody loves me like Miss Hooker, God

not even, He’s never there when I need

Him anyway, not that Miss Hooker is

but she is a human being and what’s

more, a woman-human being and one

day I’ll marry one, a woman I mean,

and I hope it’s Miss Hooker and as for

God, even if He’s a woman or part

of both a woman and a man and throw

in part of anything else and forget


that He’s the mightiest thing that there is,

not that He’s a thing, exactly, maybe

soul but even that’s not powerful

enough for someone in His position,

but I wouldn’t marry God, not even

if He was the last human being left

and like I say, he wasn’t. Or isn’t?

I guess that Miss Hooker’s not perfect and

I guess that God Almighty is but like

I confessed to her after church, I mean

Miss Hooker, I’d take her over God no

matter how she might come up short–funny

how if you can choose what’s perfect over

what’s not-so that you’d go for what’s not-so,

at least I would. Before I left Sunday


School I asked Miss Hooker to marry me

but not right away, of course, I’m 10 to

her 25, but I mean not to give

me her answer then nor even next week

when we meet again–maybe God’s not so

bad, He keeps bringing us together–and

she said, Gotcha, Gale, and of course I know


that she’ll turn me down, she’ll have to turn me

down, I need to be a teenager and

then a young man, I mean a real young man,

I mean a young adult, at least, who shaves

and drives and maybe chews tobacco and

drinks Busch and smells of oil and Gumout and

Gunk and STP and Brut and Mum and

Tinactin and Aqua Velva even

if a couple of those are sins but then

that’s what the engagement is for, so that                                                                 

we can work thing out. Of course, Miss Hooker                                                                              

will be fifteen years ahead of me all

the while, 100 to my 85

for example, like God created us,


but if He knows so blamed much why didn’t

He hold back on the free will when He had

the chance? Here goes nothing–I’m good to go.



Gale Acuff has had poetry published in Ascent, Reed, Poet Lore,Chiron ReviewCardiff Review, Poem, Adirondack Review, Florida ReviewSlantNeboArkansas Review, South Dakota ReviewRoanoke 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.

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