Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Jose Padua: American Sadness

Of all the sadness in the world
there is nothing that can compare
with American sadness. When
America is sad the whole world
weeps. Whenever one American
is sad, at least two non-Americans
somewhere else in the world consider
the possibility of ending it all. When
a hundred Americans are sad, wars
are fought in faraway lands for
the great purpose of making these
hundred Americans happy again.
When a million Americans are sad,
every flag in America droops, then
slides an inch and then another inch
down the flag pole and nothing can
stop this descent until bold, confident
smiles return to these Americans’ faces.
American sadness, let’s make it clear,
is exceptional. Unlike what you may
have heard, it doesn’t always talk
softly, but it always carries a big stick
because no one is sad the way an
American is sad. No one drags his feet
through the dullness of a day, or
walks with her eyes looking downward
quite as sadly as an American who
feels sad because America is losing
a battle, coming in second, or washing
ashore with empty pockets and bad breath.
American sadness, of course, is the greatest
sadness in the world—do not look it
in the eye unless your intention is
to make amends. Do not settle for a
knowing grin, or a sliding into place
of the proper order of thought or things.
Work hard, do your best, and fight
whenever a fist is called for, or a bomb
needs to be dropped upon a civilian population
whose greatest misfortune is not being American.
But above all, keep American sadness at bay
like a ship that wrecks off shore through
instability or from fault of navigation.
Let’s remember to keep America happy.
Let’s keep America entertained.

Copyright 2015 Jose Padua


Photograph taken in Alligator, North Carolina by Jose Padua

5 comments on “Jose Padua: American Sadness

  1. Rosaly
    February 9, 2018

    I felt the weight. Such a divine heaviness. Thanks for this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Holly Dawn Hewlett
    September 28, 2015

    And there is no sadness like the sadness of coming to the end of one of your poems……..

    Liked by 1 person

    • shenandoahbreakdown
      September 30, 2015

      ah, thanks, Holly!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. sharondoubiago
    September 28, 2015

    Magnificent poem, Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • shenandoahbreakdown
      September 30, 2015

      thank you, Sharon!


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This entry was posted on September 28, 2015 by in Humor and Satire, Poetry, War and Peace and tagged , .
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