I love Jesus but so do a lot of

other folks so even if He is God

Almighty and Himself as well He’s spread

pretty thin or is that thinly but how

can He give us all individual

attention no matter how powerful

He is and after Sunday School I posed

the question, posed is fancy for asked, to

Miss Hooker, my Sunday School teacher, and

she answered Never underestimate

your Father who art in Heaven and for

a moment I thought she was telling me

that mine had died, my daddy, but

she meant God, everybody’s father and

He couldn’t die though some folks say God is

dead but then that’s how grownups talk sometimes,

they’re got to do something with their brains, but

so I said Yes ma’am, after all, if God

is God then He might as well be pretty

damn powerful but I forgot to o

-mit the damnomit means leave out, say on

purpose, and her face went red like a rose

–no, not a deep red like that but redder

than pink, the red of a fresh sunburn, that’s

it, in summers I get ’em easily

and Mother helps me up on the kitchen

table and coats me with some cold cream that

smells like a cross between Grandmother and

a baby and then helps me down and makes

me scrub and scrub the Hell out of the table top

until my fingers are wrinkled, speaking

of Grandmother, as if it’s punishment

for staying out in the light too long but

I never learn but still it’s practice

for when I die and go to Hell and burn

and burn, burning should bug me less, for ten

years old I’ve got a good start on sinning

but I’m proud to say that I don’t check to

see if God’s back’s turned or nix. That’s respect.



By Gale Acuff