“Progress” is one in a series of poems I’ve written based on speeches. All of the words here are extracted from a speech by Afghan President Hamid Karzai at Georgetown University on January 11, 2013.


Forget less pleasant aspects
Of our relationship
A great cause: Freeing Afghanistan
It went all right
With the U.S. taxpayer’s money
It did contribute massively
To mobile phones
We had walkie-talkies: Orange
In Afghanistan there is a life
Donkey carts, music, honking
A return of the Taliban.
The War on Terror
Has been costly.
We have lost.
You’ve heard of grapes?

President Karzai addresses an audience at Georgetown University’s historic Gaston Hall during a trip to Washington.

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