Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Jose Padua: In the Season of Blue Afternoons and Starry Starry Nights

.

It’s 1979 and I’m just out of college
and loving the landscape doing the
only kind of traveling I can afford
when the Greyhound bus stops along
the highway in Arizona and the man
with the uniform and gun walks down
the aisle, looks at my face, then asks
in that serious monotone voice that I
can hardly believe isn’t coming out
of the mouth of some science fiction
robot, “Do you have your papers?”
And I pause, because I’m wondering
if the rich kids went through something
similar when they did spring break in
Cancun, Jamaica, the Bahamas. Then
I look him in the eyes and say with
a slow, clear voice in an attempt
to demonstrate that I speak English
very well, “No, I don’t have any
papers, I’m an American citizen,”
and it’s then that I finally realize
that before a time of healing there
must come a time of great strife,
a period of tremendous noise and
the unceremonious toppling of
comfortable institutions, and that
for me, unlike the rich kids, the
other kids, the kids who had it
the easy way, love and travel would
always be acts of revolution during
which I’d better keep an eye out
for the color of uniforms.

copyright 2015 Jose Padua

icecreamshop_20150504_191504_editthree

— Ice Cream Shop. Photograph by Jose Padua

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This entry was posted on September 14, 2015 by in Poetry and tagged , , , , , , .

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