It's just poetry, it won't bite


08.22.19 Posted in today's words by

Gale Acuff’s most recent poem to appear here was “Eye for an Eye” (July 2019)

By Gale Acuff
If Miss Hooker ever wants a baby
I’ll give her one when I learn how. Maybe
she already knows and can tell me but
if that’s true then she doesn’t need my help
but she does need a husband. I am that
man, or will be—I’m only ten years old
to her 25 but that won’t last long,
at least when I’m there, when I’m 25
and she’s 40 though it’s still fifteen years.
It’s funny the way that works, number for
number, yet we’ll both be all grown up and
then I can propose to her and I’ve got
plenty of time to pray every night
that she’ll say, Sure, Gale, when the time comes. Who
wouldn’t? I’ve got a lot going for me
but I don’t like to brag—I’m proud to be
modest. She’s my Sunday School teacher so
by being her husband I’ll get to go
to Heaven, too, at least I hope so, and
that would be good because Eternity
without her would kill me and I’ll be dead
already so that’s how bad it will be.
And women my age are too immature.
They’re not even women. Miss Hooker
looks like what they’ll become, I think, but I
don’t want to have to wait when I have to
wait anyway to court her, and I don’t
love them, they don’t wear makeup or open
toed shoes and none of them has red hair or
green eyes or freckles, at least none of them
has them together like Miss Hooker does
and I’m ready to be serious now
when I learn what I need to know to be
that then. Last night at supper I asked my
parents where I came from and Father said
The stork. Just to be sure, I asked Mother
and she said, The turkey. Father dropped his
fork into his mashed potatoes and had
to get a clean one but even so he
licked it clean. That’s what I don’t understand
about life, that and where babies come from,
not to mention me. I’m too modest to
but sometimes you have to think of yourself.
I’d ask Miss Hooker but she’s saving me.

One Response to “Mashed”

  1. Ed Zahniser says:

    Great poem of young wonderment!! Thanks. I knew the feeling . . .

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