In Sunday School this morning Miss Hooker

caught me looking out the window during

the Lord's Prayer, or I caught her catching

me looking out the window, so maybe

we both sinned, fallen from having our heads

bowed and our eyes closed. I couldn't resist

temptation because the rain let up--I

knew it because suddenly I couldn't

hear it anymore--and I felt the sun

would shine and eventually so why

not then? And then I looked and was blinded

when I glanced at the front of the classroom

and saw Miss Hooker studying me. If

I didn't know better--which I don't, I'm

just ten years old--I'd say that she loves me

and was sneaking a peek while my eyes were

closed. I do that, too--I do that to her

sometimes, not when her eyes are closed but when

her head's down as she searches in the Book

for God or at least some of the smart stuff

written about Him. Maybe He wrote them.

I'm not sure--Miss Hooker went for two years

to junior college so I'll bet she knows

darned near everything there is to know, or

what matters, anyway, and she's only

25, still too old for us to splice,

but if prayer means anything it means

that God might answer mine and push her age

back so I can have a shot at her

when I'm 18 and so is she, which will

be in about eight years from now for me

and eight in reverse for her. Then we'll look

out the window together as we sit

on the sofa, my arm around her and

her head on my shoulder and her love all

for me, except what she still gives to God

and Jesus--They don't even have shoulders

and maybe not even sofas. After

class I waited for the other kids to

leave, then went up to Miss Hooker's desk

and said how sorry I was that I wasn't

paying attention. Miss Hooker stood and

looked down at me and I saw myself in

her glasses--two selves I saw though each looked

pretty much the same but I knew that one

was good and the other evil yet both


make me. I'm just complicated that way.

Please try to pay attention, Gale, she said

--you're the kind of person Jesus died for.

But before I could stop my words they said

Well, thank you ma'am--and just what kind are you?

Then she plunked right down and started to cry.

I don't know, she sobbed--what kind would you say?

Which started me leaking, and with the sun

slowly slipping from its high-noon height I

crawled into her lap and held her close and learned.

Gale Acuff has had hundreds of poems published in a dozen countries and has authored three books of poetry. He has taught tertiary English courses in the US, PR China, and Palestine.