How much there is still held inside me
after all these decades of allowing
my supposed best and worst out to be 
criticized and praised out loud.

People say self-care
is more important 
than the Work. Rest and be well, 
they say. What you’ve done,

what you could do, matter less
than the resistance you offer
by being healthy and secure. 
Teach the demons, inner and outer,

that they cannot win. Somehow
they ignore the fact
that any battle has casualties.
If I do not survive in body and spirit

because I’ve put body and spirit
into the Work, who dares to say I was wrong?
Even if no one knows who I am
a year after I’m gone, I will have done my part,

and the part I leave behind
ought to be enough for all who remain here
to say I did what I had no choice but to do,
and that is how I will be fulfilled.

About Tony Brown

A poet with a history in slam, lots of publications; my personal poetry and a little bit of daily life and opinions. Read the page called "About..." for the details. View all posts by Tony Brown

One response to “Self-Care

  • Eileen

    To me not having a sense of purpose is a worse death than the physical one. I knew a woman who spent several years in an Iron Lung. She couldn’t move or even talk well enough to be understood. She decided that she would do what she could, which was smile. And so every time anyone, family, nurses, people cleaning the room, were there, she simply looked at them and smiled. Soon, patients who were walking the halls as therapy started coming in and then bringing their visitors. Some would just say “Hi.” Others would tell her who they were and why they were there. And some would pray quietly or silently for her. Some asked her to pray for them. When I met her she was living at home with her family and able to get around normally. So, now others would bring friends having hard things happen to see her and to hear her story.

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