Question: When is 33,000 not enough? Answer: When 70,000 are left behind.

On Wednesday evening President Obama ordered the rapid withdrawal of the 33,000 “surge” troops he sent to Afghanistan two years ago. Very good ✔

But Mr President, we still have 70,000 soldiers back there – that’s almost double the number President Bush placed there.  Very bad ✖

To quote USAction: You can’t 1/3 end a war. The time to end the Afghanistan war is NOW, not in 2014.

The longest war in American history seems to be going on indefinitely… I repeat what I said on Memorial day: It’s time to bring every single soldier home Mr President, and  Sir, I hope you read this poem by David Hernandez:

A guy and his donkey.  By Guilhem Vellut, from Paris  (]

by David Hernandez

The donkey. The donkey pulling the cart.
The caravan of dust. The cart made of plywood,
of crossbeam and junkyard tires. The donkey
made of donkey. The long face. The long ears.
The curled lashes. The obsidian eyes blinking
in the dust. The cart rolling, cracking the knuckles
of pebbles. The dust. The blanket over the cart.
The hidden mortar shells. The veins of wires.
The remote device. The red light. The donkey
trotting. The blue sky. The rolling cart. The dust
smudging the blue sky. The silent bell of the sun.
The Humvee. The soldiers. The dust-colored
uniforms. The boy from Montgomery, the boy
from Little Falls. The donkey cart approaching.
The dust. The laughter on their lips. The dust
on their lips. The moment before the moment.
The shockwave. The dust. The dust. The dust.

– from David Hernandez’s third collection of poetry, Hoodwinked,  (to be published in August 2011 by Sarabande Books), winner of the Kathryn A. Morton Prize

The Academy of American Poets describes the book thus:

In poems that range from the backyard to Iraq and back again, Hernandez disturbs the surface of contemporary life to reveal barely submerged worlds that, impossible to fathom, make fools of us all.

David Hernandez

David Hernandez who teaches at the University of California, Irvine, is the recipient of a 2011 NEA Literature Fellowship in Poetry.

His other collections include Always Danger (SIU Press, 2006), winner of the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry, and A House Waiting for Music (Tupelo Press, 2003).

Click the link for a schedule of his readings around S. California from August through October.


About dearrosie

We think we need so much, when all we really need is time to breathe. Come walk with me, put one foot in front of the other, and get to know yourself. Please click the link to my blog - below - and leave me a comment. I love visitors.
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12 Responses to Question: When is 33,000 not enough? Answer: When 70,000 are left behind.

  1. Priya says:

    This is a powerful poem, Rosie. I do so much hope people can see beyond war and self-aggrandisation and greed. It would be so good if it happened within our lifetimes.

    • dearrosie says:

      But how to get people to see beyond war and greed and self-aggrandisation is the big question Priya. Can you imagine what the world would be like if every International meeting the world leaders attended each year included a yoga retreat. 🙂

  2. souldipper says:

    Oh boy, does this man ever have punch. Keep talking, Rosie. If we don’t say it, who will?

    • dearrosie says:

      Thanks for hearing me Amy. The thing is, nothing will happen if we all were to sit on the fence whining, but I’d like to know that President Obama heard me. Hello….?

  3. magsx2 says:

    I agree a fantastic poem. I also like the photo choice, very nice find.

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Mags,
      This is another poem I would like to learn. he’s used such simple words but put them together in such a way that he gets our attention immediately:
      “The cart made of plywood,
      of crossbeam and junkyard tires. The donkey
      made of donkey…..”

      I’m glad you noticed the photo. I was thrilled when I found it because it’s so perfect.

  4. Reggie says:

    Echoing that… what a powerful, and literally stunning, poem. Wow.

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Reggie,
      I’m really glad to be able to share this poem with you folks all over the world. David Hernandez’s few simple words hits one smack in the gut eh? Its all the more powerful because he used an animal like a donkey, which are just “beasts of burden” we don’t usually even notice…

  5. Man oh man, that was a powerful post, a powerful photo and a wicked powerful poem…. thanks for sharing! And for all the boys from Little Falls and Montgomery (and girls, too!) — let’s bring ’em home! Now!!

    • dearrosie says:

      Hi Betty,
      The chorus to bring em home is getting louder and louder…. yaay 😀

      I’m glad to know that so many of you read the poem. I wondered when I put it at the end whether folks would stop reading at the donkey picture.

  6. Cindy says:

    Now, how do we get the president to read your excellent poem? …

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