Do you believe in God, I ask my dog,
lying on the edge of the bed while I
rub his ears with my toes. It’s Saturday
and tomorrow’s Sunday School and I can’t
get through the lesson in our workbook, on
Joseph and the crazy dreams of Pharaoh.
He wags his tail three times, my dog I mean,
and opens his eyes but not wide enough
to be taken for awake. Yes, I say,
I know what you mean. I’m only 10 and
may live another seventy before
I’ll learn whether God is or isn’t what
He seems to be for. Can I wait that long?
I could lay out of Sunday School, go down
by the river, watch my pal dog paddle
and feel him shake himself dry all over
me. Stop, boy, I’ll laugh. He’ll try to come over
to be petted, even to jump on me.
I’ll pretend to be mad. That will be fun.
Then we’ll creep back in the house and I’ll put
on my Sunday suit and we’ll sneak back out
and around the house to the front and we’ll
go inside and say hello to Mother,
or I’ll say it. She’ll ask me how Church was
and I’ll fib, Still there, ha ha, and Joseph
and I will go to my attic bedroom
and read comic books, or I will, and nap
until lunch and maybe even dream dreams.
[Gale Acuff: ” I have had poetry published in Ascent, Ohio Journal, Descant, Adirondack Review, Concho River Review, Worcester Review, Maryland Poetry Review, Florida Review, South Carolina Review, Arkansas Review, Carolina Quarterly, Poem, South Dakota Review, Santa Barbara Review, Sequential Art Narrative in Education, and many other journals. I have authored three books of poetry: Buffalo Nickel (BrickHouse Press, 2004), The Weight of the World (BrickHouse, 2006), and The Story of My Lives (BrickHouse, 2008). I have taught university English in the US, China, and the Palestinian West Bank.”]