Vietnam War Poetry

The Poems of Teresa Mei Chuc

FROM KJ 82, Remembering Viet Nam   landmine

The Gambler

The metal rod she holds is her wand the deck is more than 52 cards her suits: bombs used on both sides of the war— M14, đap lôi, mìn muôi she walks in the wild fields seeking the invisible bringing it to the surface in a strange beauty of smoke and explosion the wager is her life or a limb the shovel, a tongue that lifts the crumbling earth to reach an unexploded landmine she spreads out the dirt beneath her hands like cards [First published in the anthology Mo’ Joe, Beatlick Press, 2014]    

Agent Blue

To kill correctly takes calculation. Down to a science. Arsenic cacodylic acid. Know water and rice on a cellular level. Make sure no surviving seed can be collected and planted. Because even a small seed assures survival. Because mortars, grenades and bombs can not destroy a grain. Because our heart is made of seeds. Know what it takes to kill the seeds. Know what it takes to deprive the plant of water, to dehydrate it. To be surrounded by love but unable to absorb it.   Teresa Mei ChucTeresa Mei Chuc is the author of two poetry books, Red Thread (Fithian Press, 2012) and Keeper of the Winds (FootHills Publishing, 2014). She was born in Saigon and immigrated to the U.S. under political asylum with her mother and brother shortly after the Viet Nam War while her father remained in a Vietcong "reeducation" camp for nine years. Her poetry appears in journals and in anthologies such as New Poets of the American West (Many Voices Press, 2010), With Our Eyes Wide Open: Poems of the New American Century (West End Press, 2014), and Mo’ Joe (Beatlick Press, 2014). Teresa’s poetry is forthcoming in the anthology, Inheriting the War: Poetry and Prose by Descendants of Vietnam Veterans and Refugees.

Comments are closed.