Poem: Crack | Poetry | Hudson Valley | Hudson Valley; Chronogram

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Poem: Crack

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If Miss Hooker would marry me I’d be
the happiest ten-year-old boy alive
or dead, for that matter. (Heaven must be
a happy place). She teaches our Sunday
School class and she’s the most beautiful girl
in the world and what’s more she’s a woman.
It’s true I’m only 10 and she’s 30
or even older but I don’t think age
matters when it’s true love, and it must be,
I can feel it. If there’s a problem it’s
that she doesn’t feel it, too, at least not

yet. And I admit I’m a little young
and can’t get married until I’m 18
or is it 16—I’ll have to check. But
I’ll be ready, whatever the answer
is. Of course, she’ll be eight years older, too,
or six, which means she’ll be Mother’s age now, but
she still looks pretty good, does Mother, but
I guess Father’s a better judge of that
and anyway, she’s his girl, not mine. So

I pray before I go to sleep at night
that God will make Miss Hooker fall in love
with me, when I get old enough, I mean,
to marry. I pray it in Jesus’ name.
He was the Son of God—or is? I am
Too—the son of Father, I mean, not of
God, but if you go back far enough
to Adam, then maybe that’s pretty close,
though not as close as for Jesus. But now
I’m getting confused. She has red hair and

blue eyes and freckles on her arms and legs
in a dress that’s shorter than Mother’s and
that’s how I’m sure she’s younger, Miss Hooker,
I mean, and shoes that have holes in the snouts
and she paints her toenails—Mother doesn’t.
Last week they were pink and the week before
blue. Like her eyes. When she tells the story

of Samson and Delilah you’d swear that
she was there. After class last Sunday I
put my hands on either side of the door
and pushed and pushed and pushed away from me
to make the walls fall down but all I did
was rip the seat of my pants. I was glad
that all the other kids had gone. Uh oh,
Miss Hooker said. You don’t know your limits.
Yes ma’am, I said. I was disappointed
when I asked Notice anything different?
and she said No. But then she said, I think
there’s a crack in the ceiling I wasn’t
aware of before. The truth is she was
wrong and that’s love but I’m not sure what kind.
Maybe she just felt sorry for me but

that’s a start. And then we’ll have a baby
—I’ll know by then or else she’ll show me how
or I’ll show her when I learn the secret
or we’ll huddle up and do it that way.
I like Samson for a name but we’ll see.

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