The Real Nam

Camel cigarettes and Bom De Bom Beer
Young oriental women who were too brave when near
Skinny teeth natives who squat for hours on end
Huts made of tin cans and pallets that are paper thin

The whole place appears tattered beyond repair
The stench of sewers and rice incense floats in the air
Dried squid and cat carcass hang on vendor wagons
Poor kids and beggars sleep on streets everywhere

Renault Dauphine Taxies and motorbikes fill the streets
Sly stares are the best you can get from the people you meet
Everyone is hustling a buck with something to sale
Even while there I knew our mission would fail

These people were only trying to survive
The best they knew how to live, was to strive
The question of those who were willing to pay
Money I had, would be there's before the end of the day

I survived there for approximately one year
Trying to drink, play and ignore the fear
When I look back at the events that took place
I felt a new grace for this part of the human race

Copyright 1995 Robert Luttrell