But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. ~ Matthew 5:28 (KJV)
Having already mused upon such profound matters as mortality, the mystery of the Trinity, and the nature of the divine, not to mention the feasibility of installing fly screens in submarines (‘Simple’; ‘Transposed’), in ‘Scram’ Gale Acuff’s winning scamp turns his attention to that spiciest of fare among the seven deadly sins, lust, here served with a side dish of avarice.
Can any ten-year-old boy ever love God as much as he loves his Sunday school teacher?
If I loved God like I love Miss Hooker
I’d get to Heaven for sure, when the time
comes I mean. I hope it won’t be soon since
I’d probably go to Hell for sinning.
She’s my Sunday School teacher, 25,
which is pretty old and I’m only 10 so
we don’t have much time and I have to wait
until I’m grown, 16, which will make her
31. I’ll ask her out anyway
and if she turns me down I’ll ask again
and then again until she breaks down. It
works with Mother anyway and she’s one,
a woman I mean, and even older
than Miss Hooker, over 30 even.
Mother, I ask, may I have a quarter?
She always says nix the first time so I
ask again and again and if I don’t
get a quarter I usually get
a dime, what I wanted anyway. She
gives in and gives it to me just to get
rid of me. It’s not like she gets nothing
in return. Miss Hooker has green eyes and
red hair and freckles. Mother’s just brunette.
I asked her yesterday, How do I get
a gal to like me? She said, Don’t ask for
money. I told her I was serious.
She put down the newspaper between us
and took off her glasses and looked at me
like she was going to swat me but all
she said was, So am I – now go outside
and play. So I did. I played football by
myself and pretended Miss Hooker was
watching. I won the game for our side. I
said that our opponents had a good team
and put up a good fight but we wanted
the victory more. I said so to our
cat, who interviewed me for CAT
Sports. I would’ve let our dog question me
but he ran away last month, unless he
died. Or maybe he got married. Then I
went back into the house. I caught Mother
and Father kissing. You don’t see that much.
They didn’t see me standing there. After
they finished I said, Well, well, well. Father
said, Better beat it, you’re cramping my style.
Mother blushed. That means her face turned red or
worse. I said, It’ll cost you a quarter.
Father fished into his pants pocket on
his right side and flipped one to me. It rose
and fell like half of a circle. Its two
sides spun over and over and over.
Damn, it was beautiful. And I caught it
with my left hand, which didn’t need any
help from my right. Nice catch, Father said. Now
scram. I walked down the road to the Jiff-Mart
to buy a comic book. Wonder Woman.
She reminds me of Miss Hooker, the way
she throws her magic lasso around you
to make you tell the truth about something.
You can’t fool with her. You’re under her spell.
Not that Miss Hooker has one, a lasso
I mean. But she ought to. I could use it.
For Last Word, the fourth instalment in Gale Acuff’s Sunday School quartet, visit the 2019 Vol. 1 poetry page On Sunday School (3).
‘Comic Boy Oli at School’ by frankes was retrieved from https://openclipart.org/detail/190241/comic-boy-oli-at-school