Vox Populi

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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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