Ann Arbor Review


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Gale Acuff
Robert Nisbet
Fred Wolven
Sreekanth Kopuri

Michael Lee Johnson
Silvia Scheibli
Richard Gartee
Ali Znaidi
Jennifer Burd

John Grey
Running Cub
Peycho Kanev

Ann Arbor Review

is an independent

International Journal & ezine

Copyright (c) 2019 Francis Ferde
All rights revert back to each poet.
--editor / Southeastern Florida

AAR history note:  in print 1967 - 1980.  Irregular publications 1980 - 2004.  As ezine 2004 - present. Most of 51 years all together....


Francis Ferde
Silver Grey Fox
Running Cub
Fred Wolven

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Will the Circle Be Unbroken?

In Sunday School this morning Miss Hooker
nice, I think--anyway, she's my teacher
so she should know and she also says that
The truth will set you free, or maybe that's
in the Bible somewhere. What happened was
she asked the class if we knew why folks
are fallen so I raised my hand and said
Maybe they got dizzy, and my classmates
laughed and Miss Hooker took off her glasses
and rubbed her eyes, I mean in the inner
corners of them like when you pinch your nose
but higher, then put them back on and smiled
but I could feel she was smiling at me,
not with me, I mean, because of me, not
exactly. Hell, I don't know what I mean.
Then she said, No, Gale, what I mean is why
can't people stop their sinning even when
they try, so I raised my hand again and
answered, Maybe because they're fallen, and
my classmates laughed again and Miss Hooker
said, I can see that you're not familiar
with circular reasoning, so I raised
my hand again and said, Sure I am but
tell me what it is so I can be sure
and then she said, Gale, ignorance is no
excuse, and I was about to raise my
hand a fourth time but she told me that I
didn't have to do that so I said, No
excuse for what? and she said, Not knowing
so I said, Not knowing what? and she said
For not knowing what you don't know, so I
said, What don't I know? and she asked, What do
you know? but it was like a trick question
and before I could answer she told us

about Adam and Eve and how they sinned,
which guaranteed that everybody else
that came after them would be fallen and
therefore sin and be damned to Hell unless
they accept Jesus and be born again
but even then they'll sin, maybe not so
much, but then they'll ask Jesus to forgive
them and He will and we should, too,
accept Jesus I mean, because if we
die without so doing then we'll go to
Hell and if we die in sin it's too late
to go to Heaven. Do you understand,
she asked, and we all said, Yes ma'am and then
sang "Faith of Our Fathers," which is too slow
for me, and "Onward. Christian Soldiers," which
I like because we get to march around
the room but we're not like real soldiers, we
don't get to shoot anybody except
maybe Satan but that's not in the song.
unless it's what you call sort of im-plied.
So after we sat down again she called
on me to lead us in the Lord's Prayer
so I did and got the words right for once
because I've been practicing so I can
say it just as good as Jesus did, or
is it as well, I'm not sure, I'm failing
English at regular school but not by

too much. So after class before I could
escape Miss Hooker called me back just as
I was walking through the door and I thought
I'd pretend I didn't hear her but that's
probably a sin and I'm already
in a hole so deep I can feel the heat
of Hell so I came back to her desk and
said, Yes ma'am, what can I do for you, like
Father does at work, he sells lingerie,
which means the clothes that ladies wear under
the clothes you can see--underwear, that is
--so she asked, Are you clear about things now,
which is a Hell of a question, it could
cover almost anything and I thought
of saying yes but that would be a sin
to take advantage of her that way so
I said, No ma'am, and if I was, I'd be
in Heaven already, wouldn't I, or
is it were, maybe we get that next year,
and her mouth dropped open like my sister's
doll, there's just a hinge there and it's broken
because my G. I. Joe kissed her too hard,
and she said, I don't think you're ignorant
and I said, Yes ma'am, you're right, I'm only
stupid, and smiled, and felt a lot better,
because being stupid gets you into
Heaven sooner than being ignorant
sends you to Hell. I'm not sure how I know
that. It just came to me. I'm not so dumb.


Gale Acuff, Jenin, Palestine


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