Khama Pakhtaga

by Nathan Hamm on 10/18/2004 · 2 comments

Whenever I read stories like this, I think of a particular Johnny Cash song

I never picked cotton
But my mother did
And my brother did
And my sister did
And my daddy died young
Workin’ in the coal mine

When I was just a baby too little for a cotton sack
I played in the dirt while the others worked
‘Til they couldn’t straighten up their backs
I made myself a promise
When I was big enough to run
That I’d never stay a single day In that Oklahoma sun

I never picked cotton
But my mother did
And my brother did
And my sister did
And my daddy died young
Workin’ in the coal mine

Folks said I grew up early and that the farm couldn’t hold me then
So I stole ten bucks and a pickup truck And I never went back again
Then it was fast cars and whiskey and long haired girls and fun
I had everything that money could bring And I took it all with a gun

I never picked cotton
But my mother did
And my brother did
And my sister did
And my daddy died young
Workin’ in the coal mine

It was Saturday night in Memphis when a redneck grabbed my shirt
When he said go back to your cotton sack I left him dying in the dirt
They’ll take me in the morning to the gallows just outside
And in the time I got there ain’t a hell of alot that I can look back on with pride

But, I never picked cotton
But my mother did
And my brother did
And my sister did
And my daddy died young
Workin’ in the coal mine

I have a hard time picturing the whole outlaw cowboy ethos working in Uzbekistan, but one can dream…


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This post was written by...

– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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{ 2 comments }

Alisher October 19, 2004 at 8:06 am

🙂

asror October 19, 2004 at 5:23 pm

I liked the poem:)

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