quadrangle banner image

Hitler on TV

Valerie Diamond

Ack ack ack ack ack ack ack ack ack ack
I looked up from my second grade homework.
Daddy sat in an armchair watching TV.
His face was red, and he held
his arms as if he had a rifle, making
a gun-shot noise with his mouth.
Ack ack ack ack ack ack ack

Boys did that, but not my father.
I came to see what he was seeing.

A man on the black and white TV stood on a high ourdoor stage
Yelling and waving his arms. His speech was fast and guttural,
I couldn’t understand, but
Something made me think whatever he said
must be true.

The picture changed. My father stopped shooting.
“Who was that?”, I asked.
“That was Hitler,” said my father.
“I should have shot him. I wanted to shoot him.”

I was quiet, watching TV.
Parades of goose-stepping soldiers, Hitler giving
bouquets of flowers to pretty little girls in flower crowns,
Maps, trains, a building missing one wall, bed and dresser
obscenely exposed.

I didn’t know what had happened, but two things were clear.
Hitler, whoever he was, had been beloved and powerful, and my father
still hated him.