Uncle Hitler

Sarah Johnson

And why is it that death

feels so unnatural 

in the morning?

Six children in pale

shades of blue 

sing to him. It's near

the end and he smiles

anyway. Delicate

hands prepare their dinner

in the next room. Shells,

artillery shake dust 

from the walls. It’s almost

midnight and they eat

anyway. In the hallway

later a soldier makes 

a promise to him—no one

will see his body, dead

or alive. They burn it

twice. Anyway, the six

children were sleeping

when their mother slipped

cyanide between their molars;

she was tucking them in 


Sarah Johnson received her MFA from American University and is a PhD student in Writing and Rhetoric at George Mason University; she currently teaches composition and creative writing to high school students at Mt. Carmel School in Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands. Her article about mindfulness and writing centers can be seen in Praxis: A Writing Center Journal, and her poetry can be found in Bird's Thumb, District Lit, The Worcester Review, Glint Literary Journal, and others.