I can’t afford to die A caregiver’s confession

I work

At an assisted

Living purgatory,

Where I slave away

The day,

In hopes,

That the little I do

For my clients,

Can make

a second

Of their limbo

Worth it,

Their lives,

Rely on my ability

To stay true

to my purpose,

So even on the days,

When I clock in

On worthless,

I still find ways

To mold myself,

Into a safe space,

Where they can be,

More than the disabilities,

It’s tragic

But most people,

will never see their magic

like I do,

Naw fr,

I’ve seen miracles,

Like Jonah

Who was born with

With one lung

And folded hands

But learned

To paints murals

With his toes,

There are those,

Who have

Never seen Joey Walk on water,

But the waves

Of the ocean

Painted on his floor


Told stories of divine


A portrait Of Joey’s will

To survive,

And he tried,

But when God gives you

The heart of a lion,

He also gives you

The toughest battles

To fight,


I ain’t seen the ocean

The same

Since the lord

Put out

Joey’s light

See they don’t tell you

About the pain,

That haunts

When your clients die

They just give you a bonus,

As If their passing

is something

To be praised for,

And isn’t it crazy?

How we caregivers,

make burdens

Of the people we’re

Supposed to care for?

In truth, My coworkers

Would rather ignore

Our client’s talents

Steady focused

on the things

they can’t change,

Rather than

empowering them

To fight the battles they can

That’s why

I refuse

To Be the stepping stone

That folds

I affirm my new client


I tell bob,

He’s as beautiful,

As his music

That I love the way

he plays his recorder,

Remind him

That his off key Rythm

Is still a tune

Worth listening to,

I thank him

For this gift Of Song

A melody

to sooth

the terminally depressed

The last Ballad

learned at his mother’s death bed,

He tells me

to thank her instead

And I’m reminded,

That this is

The only way he knows

To mourn,

That there is no disorder,

To stop a child

From missing his mother

I’m reminded

that most days,

I am all he has,

And we’ve both seen death

too many times,

To not know it’s coming,

So when my bobby boy,

Tells me,


you smile a lot like my mom,

What’s he’s saying is,

I’ve seen what happens

When you squeeze Out Joy you don’t have,

From a heart,

That’s given up

On beating for itself

He tells me,

It’s ok to take a nap If I’m tired

That he’ll be good,

Just like mama taught him,

I say “thank you,

But I ain’t sleeping on you Homie

And besides

If I close my eyes,

I promise,

They won’t open,

And right now,

I just Really

can’t afford to die here,

I will not be another song,

For your recorder,

I say thank you,

And mean it,

Because honestly,

I’m grateful for the days,

He lets himself

become my reason

To survive.

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