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by Gale Acuff

When Miss Hooker calls on me to tell her
and my classmates here in Sunday School just
who killed the giant Goliath with his
sling I answer Jesus and everyone
laughs. No, I cry–I mean David! David!
That’s correct, Miss Hooker says–now try not
to look out the window when we’re talking
about our Bible stories, please. The class
laughs again. I wonder how God can be
so boring but I don’t ask Miss Hooker
–it’s enough that God can read my mind, like
Santa Claus, I guess, and sometimes Mother
so I’m not safe anywhere. Funny. Out
the window is the tallest pine at church,
or in the yard I mean. If a little
tree could whirl and twirl a sling would it bring
it down? That’s what I was thinking when she
called on me, Miss Hooker, to pull me back

to reality, if that’s what this is.
Suppose it gets tired of the big pine’s shade
and decides it’s had enough? It’s a fair
question. After David slew Goliath
he cut off his head. I’d pay to see that,
and more than the picture in our workbook.
It isn’t even in color and though
David holds Goliath’s head high there’s no
blood. Except for what I drew in red ink
last night with one of Father’s pens and he’s
a teacher so it should be alright and
anyway whose workbook is it? Jesus

was the Son of God but still He came from
the House of David. And died on the Cross
for my sins and everyone else’s, past
and present and future, but not His own
because, Miss Hooker says, He didn’t have any,
or at least damn few, so who died for His?
I’ve got half a mind to ask Miss Hooker
after class, when I’ll be a lot braver
and we’ll be one to one and face to face
and an eye for an eye, to boot. And and
I’ll tell her I kind of like Goliath
and why did David have to kill him, with God’s help?
But the truth is I love Miss Hooker and
I hope to make her my wife one day, when
I’m grown up–I’m only 10 now and she’s
probably 25 or so but God
works miracles–just look what David
did to Goliath, and how Jesus rose
from the dead–so He can make me older
if He wants to and Miss Hooker younger
until we meet in between at the same
age. 18 is good. Then I’ll visit her
and knock on the door and when she opens

up I’ll drop to one knee, probably my
left because I’ve got a bruise on my right
heel, and look up at her just after she
looks down at me and say, Miss Hooker, my
lamb, will you make me the happiest guy
on earth? She has to say Sure because God
already took the trouble to equal
out our ages. Then she’ll invite me in
and we’ll hug and kiss and sit on her couch
and she’ll cry and I’ll comfort her and soon
we’ve set the date, which is right away, and
that night we make a baby or two, I’m
not really sure how but she’ll fill me in,
or God will, or God working through her, and
I hope I’ll know her first name by then, too.

When class is over and the other kids
go I walk up to Miss Hooker to say
how sorry I am that I misbehaved.
She smiles and says, You’ll know better next time,
she means next Sunday, and I say, Yes, but
I might be dead by then or you might be
or we both might be. She drops her pen and
we both go down to pick it up but I
get to it first–I’m like David to her
Goliath, I guess, smaller but quicker.
We both stand back up at the same time and
I give her pen to her but she drops it
again or I didn’t give it to her
properly and she says, I’ll get it, and
now she’s David to my Goliath, not
for long but long enough for me to want
her to knock me over and chop off my
head. It’s funny what you think about when

you’re in love. In a second she’s taller
again and I don’t want to kill her, I
want to kiss her but she’s out of reach but
just wait ’til God grants me my miracle,
I’ll show her a thing or two about love
and maybe God, too. It’s no sacrifice.


About the Author:

Gale Acuff has published poems in many journals and has authored three books of poetry. He has taught university English in the US, China, and the Palestinian West Bank.



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