The Cu Chi Tunnels

by George Such
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We squeezed through a hole in the ground
and climbed down metal rungs

to a shaft, lit by a distant lamp.
We had to stoop, almost crawl, rubbing

along the walls, going deeper
into the earthen scent, coming to rooms

filled with mannequins, some sitting
around tables studying maps, some treating

the wounded lying on beds, one cooking food
below a winding vent – an underground

village – a city without a sun.
She had brought me to Cu Chi to see

how her people lived during the war, how
the tunnels reached all the way to Saigon,

a network under the enemy’s feet,
deeper than even the bombs could reach.
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In a previous incarnation, George Such was a chiropractor for twenty-seven years in eastern Washington. This past June he completed his M.A. in English at Western Washington University, where he also served as one of The Bellingham Review’s poetry editors. He hopes to continue his graduate studies next year, and will be applying to programs this fall.