People Who Take Care

-Nancy Henry

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.