CURSED BY THE COLOR OF HIS SKIN


Now Claude came into this old world - Son of a Frenchman and Rhade -
Everything was perfect then - 'Til the Frenchman went away -
Claude grew up between two worlds - The East and the West -
The constant subject of debate - Which side of him was best -
He hung around the Troopers - Of the famed Green Beret -
He became a Mike Force soldier - Then American soldiers went away -
Now Claude was an Officer - He led the camouflaged band -
The only free white man left - In that tortured land -
He fought on after Saigon went - Then one day fell on the field -
Into the clutches of his enemy - The whip and flail they wield -
He was a white man - the subject of all their hate -
That his mother was Rhade - No difference did it make -
The Viet Police Chief - From up around Pleiku -
Said there was a better place for Claude - "I've decided to help you" -
He warned Claude not to say a word - As he sold him to the Khmer -
Claude knew he wasn't in Vietnam - But he didn't know where -
Then that day in old Phnom Penh - Claude caught the Trooper's eye -
The Khmer told Claude not to Talk - Or surely he would die -
The old Trooper looked at Claude Clement - Then reached out his hand -
"You may not be the one I'm looking for - But your leaving this evil land" -
Well Claude's no longer bought and sold - He gets three squares a day -
But he's still caught in limbo - He still needs you to pray -
By this time next year I pray - Claude will find his own kind -
If the lady with the torch still lives - And justice truly blind -
So as you pray for the children of color - And after all the moneys sent -
Save a prayer for the cursed white man - The one called Claude Clement -


Copyright 1998, by Mark A. Smith, Major, USA, Retired

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