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People Who Take Care

by Nancy Henry from Hard, © MuscleHead Press, as featured in the February 11 The Writer's Almanac:

People who take care of people get paid less than anybody people who take care of people are not worth much except to people who are sick, old, helpless, and poor people who take care of people are not important to most other people are not respected by many other people come and go without much fuss unless they don't show up when needed people who make more money tell them what to do never get shit on their hands never mop vomit or wipe tears don't stand in danger of having plates thrown at them sharing every cold observing agonies they cannot tell at home people who take care of people have a secret that sees them through the double shift that moves with them from room to room that keeps them on the floor sometimes they fill a hollow no one else can fill sometimes through the shit and blood and tears they go to a beautiful place, somewhere those clean important people have never been.

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