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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 17: 29 Jan. 2023
Haibun, anomalous: 154 words
By Hazel Hall

Returned Soldier 1947

Take your choice of treatments. Mind you, now it’s over 
we expected lads as young as you to shape up quickly. 
This malaise of yours is sudden. It’s a worry. 
Think of your wife and children. Snap out of it for their sake; 
if not we have three options here on offer. 
Insulin’s recommended for those highs and lows 
and been the most successful. You’ll be pleased 
with the speed it takes you back to normal. 
If that’s not beneficial, we have another option: 
electrical convulsions. They should still those violent dreams. 
You’ll feel a little jolt, then another and you’ll be a new man. 
If all else fails, we’ll try an operation 
on your frontal lobes. The cure is guaranteed. 

So think about it, soldier; chat it over with your wife 
and let us have your answer in a day or two. 

	stretcher bearer—
	the nightly kaleidoscope 
	of dark arts 

Hazel Hall
Issue 17 (29 January 2023)

is a versatile poet, editor, and musicologist who is well published in Australia and internationally. She has an interest in hybrid forms, and a growing number of her published poems blend two different styles. Her collections include Step By Step: Tai Chi Meditations (Picaro Poets, 2018), Moonlight over the Siding (Interactive Press, 2019), Severed Web (Picaro Poets, 2020), and a verse drama, Please Add Your Signature and Date It Here (Litoria Press, 2021).

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