Wanted - a Poem by Gale Acuff

A precocious ten-year-old boy searches for the meaning of life. - photo credit: Aaron Burden

Wanted - a Poem by Gale Acuff

One day when I'm dead I guess it will be

more like night, night being the end of day

if you're not thinking of twenty-four hours

but anyway I'm only ten years old

and the plan is to live to be 90

or 100, Nature's plan I mean if

God doesn't object or for that matter

neither do I and snuff out my own flame

from a broken heart or some other sad

-ness but anyway just what's it like to

wake up dead, maybe in Heaven, I'll make

Heaven if only for the time it takes

for angels to help me up and wash my

face if I still have one and go meet God,

Who judges the quick and the dead and I

guess I'm the dead but if you're eternal

or have eternal life are you still quick

like you were when alive or quicker or

less quick, and with my rotten luck watch me

live eternally, yes, but in Hellfire

and brimstone and boiling oil and blisters

and all things good in a horror movie,

it's enough to make you never want to

die but go on where you are, Earth that is,

where I'd like to live at least as long as

God, if God's alive like I am now, and

stay healthy enough to but if you can't

enjoy immortality then at least

you can bear it, like I'm bearing it now

but I mean with wrinkles or arthritis

or weird wounds that don't heal and teeth that fall

out and psoriasis and hair-loss and

funny body odors but no one's

laughing, dying's not that kind of funny

I guess, and death no laugh-riot but some

-times I forget which I am so I say

Fate wants me, dead and alive. That seems fair.

It's nice to be wanted. I can't complain.

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Gale Acuff

Gale Acuff has had hundreds of poems published in several countries and is the author of three books of poetry. He has taught university English in the US, China, and Palestine.

Occupied Palestinian West Bank

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