Tune – Gale Acuff

Jesus loves me, this I know, but I don’t
know as well as they say at Sunday School
I know and of course they have me singing
it and it’s a nice song for what it is
and it’s true that the Bible tells me so
and maybe even that little ones, that means
childrento Him belong, or belong to
Him, and probably true that they’re weak at
least compared to Him, He’s strong, but I’m ten
years old now, not exactly little and
there’s no going back for me, backsliding
you might say but I mean in only years,
I have to go forward and certainly
can’t stay my age forever, I wonder
if that’s possible and would be a new
way of saying that I’m dead but any
-way it’s my soul that can backslide into
sin again is what they tell me in class
but they also say that everyone’s sin
-ful so naturally I wish like Hell
they’d make up their minds, religion’s a pain
sometimes and it’s true that when I leave class
I’m feeling pretty good about myself
and God and Jesus and the Holy Ghost
and figuring that if I died on my walk
home that I’d have a good shot at Heaven,
a decent one anyway, but then it’s
back to regular school for five days and
Saturday to waste as best I can, speak
-ing of sin, sloth I think the Bible says,
and then it’s Sunday once more and just when
I’m ready to pack it in I go to
church and I’m feeling pretty positive
but then the words of the song are with me
on the way home again and by the time
I step onto the porch I’ve sung it
a dozen times and the trinity
of Yes, Jesus loves me but then I think
I’m strong and He’s weak and to me He be
-longs but maybe that’s against the law and
after class next Sunday I’m going to
ask our teacher what the straight dope is since
I’m not stupid, something fishy’s going
on and it ain’t fishers of men. Orcas?

G AcuffGale Acuff, PhD has had poetry published in Ascent, Chiron Review, Pennsylvania Literary Journal, Poem, Adirondack Review, Maryland Poetry Review, Florida Review, Slant, Nebo, Arkansas Review, South Dakota Review, and many other journals. He has authored three books of poetry, all from BrickHouse Press: Buffalo Nickel, The Weight of the World, and The Story of My Lives. He has taught university English courses in the US, China, and Palestine.