by Gale Acuff

Miss Hooker died last night, I dreamt. She's my
Sunday School teacher but, last night, no more,
she didn't see the Mack that had no lights
and I was driving it, I want to be
a truckdriver when I grow up, I'm just
9 now to her 25 or so, she's

old, or was, and I want to marry her,
or did, but now I can't, not just in real
life but in dreams, too, unless she comes
back to life for me tonight and I hope
she isn't angry and forgives me, like
Jesus does, or she said He does--unless

I'm so sinful that I'm sent to Hell, where
I'll live an eternity of torment,
not that I don't deserve it, I cheated
on my last math test and flunked anyway,
though to my credit not by very much,
but that's sin for you, it only takes some

and not a lot to sink you into fire.
And to my credit again, in last night's
dream I called the cops and turned myself in:
Yes, it was an accident, I said, but
I knew better than to drive without lights
after dark, and, no, I wasn't drinking
and you can test me. They did and I passed
so that's something. Boy, was her family

steamed at me, who can blame them, and wouldn't
let me attend the funeral, and then
I went to court and pleaded guilty, which
was the least I could do though it didn't
bring Miss Hooker back. They executed
me but it only hurt a second and
then I guess I went to Hell but--holy
moley--I woke up this morning alive

and dressed for Sunday School but was shaking
so much I couldn't straighten my clip-on
bow tie and wound up with it on upside
down but never noticed 'til Miss Hooker
told me after class and fixed it for me,
her fingers at my throat and all her grace.