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A precocious ten-year-old boy searches for the meaning of life. - photo credit: Aaron Burden

One day when I'm dead I guess it will be
more like night, night being the end of day
if you're not thinking of twenty-four hours
but anyway I'm only ten years old
and the plan is to live to be 90
or 100, Nature's plan I mean if
God doesn't object or for that matter
neither do I and snuff out my own flame
from a broken heart or some other sad
-ness but anyway just what's it like to
wake up dead, maybe in Heaven, I'll make
Heaven if only for the time it takes
for angels to help me up and wash my
face if I still have one and go meet God,
Who judges the quick and the dead and I
guess I'm the dead but if you're eternal
or have eternal life are you still quick
like you were when alive or quicker or
less quick, and with my rotten luck watch me
live eternally, yes, but in Hellfire
and brimstone and boiling oil and blisters
and all things good in a horror movie,
it's enough to make you never want to
die but go on where you are, Earth that is,
where I'd like to live at least as long as
God, if God's alive like I am now, and
stay healthy enough to but if you can't
enjoy immortality then at least
you can bear it, like I'm bearing it now
but I mean with wrinkles or arthritis
or weird wounds that don't heal and teeth that fall
out and psoriasis and hair-loss and
funny body odors but no one's
laughing, dying's not that kind of funny
I guess, and death no laugh-riot but some
-times I forget which I am so I say
Fate wants me, dead and alive. That seems fair.
It's nice to be wanted. I can't complain.

Read this poem on Apple News.

About the Author


Gale Acuff

Occupied Palestinian West Bank

Gale Acuff has had hundreds of poems published in several countries and is the author of three books of poetry. He has taught university English in the US, China, and Palestine.