David Hernandez’s “Happiness Epidemic”

Photo by Gustavo Fring on Pexels.com

During this time of online learning for my students, I came across this poem in the final unit for my AP English Literature & Composition course. The unit focuses on the use of figurative language: simile, metaphor, and personification. Little did the creators of the course know that this poem would be so timely! It’s time for happiness, joy, and hope to go viral. MASKS PROHIBITED!

Happiness Epidemic – David Hernandez

Without any warning, the disease
sweeps across the country
like a traveling circus.

People who were once blue,
who slouched from carrying
a bag of misery over one shoulder

are now clinically cheerful.
Symptoms include kind gestures,
a bouncy stride, a smile

bigger than a slice of cantaloupe.
You pray that you will be infected,
hope a happy germ invades your body

and multiplies, spreading merriment
to all your major organs
like door-to-door Christmas carolers

until the virus finally reaches your heart:
that red house at the end of the block
where your deepest wishes reside,

where a dog howls behind a gate
every time that sorrow
pulls his hearse up the driveway.

Source: Hernandez, David. “Happiness Epidemic.” Casa Poema. Casa Poem, n.d. Web. 6 June 2011.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s