Our Father, Who Art


If I kill myself I’ll see my father
unless he’s up in Heaven, I doubt it
but suicide’s a pretty sour sin
they tell me at church and Sunday School so
if I’m good for the rest of my life
and especially if I believe that
Jesus is the Son of God then I go
to Heaven but if Father’s not there then
I’m screwed, I don’t think that I can beg God
to demote me to Hellfire and what kind
of Afterlife will it be if I can’t
see again and even visit old souls
I used to know, especially kin
-folk, especially my father, who was
good but maybe not good enough to dwell
in the House of the Lord forever and
all that? At least that’s what Mother swears to
but after Sunday School this morning I
expressed my concern to my teacher and
her answer was tears and a silent weeping,
Good-Book fancy for tears, and shaking and
heaving so that I had to comfort her
and then I whispered Goodbye, see you next
time and someone muttered and every
day until then and thereafter. Daddy?

Gale Acuff