Tips

I want to die so that I can go to

Heaven and live forever but my

Sunday School teacher, Miss Hooker, tells me

that’s a sin, wanting to die and wanting

to die like that especially. No, I

have to wait, she says, until God calls me

 

home, which means Heaven. That’s where I hail from,

she says, but I misremember – Mother

says that I came from the hospital and

Father that he found me in the garbage

dump and felt sorry for me and brought me

 

home, our house I mean, which is no Heaven

but it will have to serve before I can

move out. I’m only 10. After high school

I’ll join the Navy, maybe the circus,

or be Clerk at the County Line Motel

and meet folks who see the world and tell me

about it while I let them into their

rooms and show them where everything is

and take their tips though I won’t ask for them

or let on in any way I need them,

the tips I mean, that would be sinning – love

 

is supposed to be freely given. I

guess a little change is a lot like love.

Miss Hooker says that when I have to die

I probably won’t know what hits me, all

 

that will happen is I’ll wake up dead and

open my eyes, though they’ll be all-soul, and

Jesus will be standing over me. He’ll

help me up and welcome me to Heaven

if I’ve been good, but if I’ve died in sin

He’ll toss me in the Lake of Eternal

 

Fire so I’d best be as good as I can

be, she says. But I think if I die now

and without really wanting to I’ll get

into Heaven for keeps because I prayed

for forgiveness a few minutes ago

for all my sins. Lately I’ve been praying

 

plenty. I want to die so I can live

and be finished with death forever. That’s

what Jesus meant on the Cross. Then He died

before explaining, but He rose again.

So will I, but not to walk around. I

can live with that. I’m not that hard to please.

Gale Acuff

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About Ijagun Poetry Journal

Ijagun Poetry Journal is a quarterly journal that provides a platform from which we can tell our own stories in the authenticity of their multiplicity through the poetic medium. We don’t want to hear these stories from our master “griots” alone; we want to hear from those mastering their art, too. Hence, we aim at publishing new and emerging poets. We also welcome the works of established poets in order to encourage the poetic genius of those mastering poetic art. We prize original works that conform to, break or reinvent conventions. Again, we accept reviews and critical essays on poetry. We also accept powerful art works and photographs that make us appreciate the "poetry" in everything.
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