Photo by Ivan Pozniak on

by Gale Acuff

When I wake up dead in Heaven I hope
that I won’t see certain people there, I
mean folks that I don’t like down here, on earth
that is, shouldn’t Heaven be a place where
no enemies are or even friends you
don’t want to run into and avoided
when you were alive? I mean alive in
a different way from my life here now, ten
years old’s all I total but maybe I’ll
live to be 100 and that would mean
there might be even more dead frenemies
than I have now. I wonder how many
I’d run across if I was never born
at all but I guess that’s not possible
though at Sunday School Miss Hooker says that
with God all things are possible, maybe
that’s another way of saying that I’ll
wake up dead in Hell instead and I’ll bet
down there I’ll run into folks I know damned
well and even get along with them much
better than I will in Heaven or for
that matter here on earth. I walk to church

and back home again, of course, and either
way I wonder sometimes why I was born
and why I must get older and why I
can’t stay here forever, the place I love,
my house and back yard and the church not far
away and regular school the other
and not so far, neither, and the drug store
where I can buy Superman every month
if I’ve returned enough Nehi bottles,
six, to sum twelve cents and there’s a penny
for tax that I’ll find on the road somewhere.
But in Heaven all comic books will be
free or I’ll have money enough there to
buy as many as I want whenever
I desire. And no continued stories,
all adventures will end with the last page
and panel, and The End will mean The End.
Better yet I’ll be Superman himself
and Green Kryptonite will never slay me,
at least not for long–watch me rise
and die again and rise and die to death.

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