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A Journal of Haibun & Tanka Prose
Bob Lucky, General Editor & Ray Rasmussen, Technical Editor
January 2020 Vol. 15 No. 4

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J Hahn Doleman

War Stories

The patient has pneumonia that will require a week’s worth of antibiotics, but he dismisses my concern, claims to have been through far worse, and complains less about his acute condition than the chronic pain in his knee, where he says a German officer shot him while he worked for the Czech underground.

During the care plan meeting with his family, the patient’s daughter tells me how a German farmer concealed her father in a hayloft, helping him escape the Gestapo. I tell her about my grandfather, a German farmer who feigned mental illness when called up for service, and never fired a gun in his life. I choose not to mention my great uncle, who at 16 was conscripted into the Wehrmacht to help put down the Prague Uprising.

hidden in the attic
mother’s birth certificate
with the swastika