Criticise Me!

I do not pretend to be perfect.
I know the truth
That I am flawed.
That I’ve lost count
Of the flaws I have.
The number of times
That I’ve hurt other people.
When I never meant to.
When I never wanted to.
The number of tears
My friends have cried
Because of something
That I’ve said,
Or done.
That didn’t work at all
Like I thought it would.

So go ahead.
Criticize me.
Everyone always has.

But I have some things to say.
And I have some questions
I would ask.

Do you donate platelets,
Or whole blood
To the Red Cross?
Or Life South?
Do you?

I do.
And I have.
Since September 3rd
Of 2010.
I donate platelets.
Twice a month.
24 times a year.

I know how
To save someone else’s life.
Red Cross called me
Yesterday.
Around 1400 hours.
And they asked if I could
Come in on Monday
And donate once again.

I told them yes.
So at 0830 hours
On Monday morning
I’ll be sitting in a great big chair,
With a tiny pipe
Sticking out of my arm.
And my blood flowing
Through an apheresis machine
Once again.

Do you have any idea
What chemotherapy does
To a person’s platelet count?
Do you know
That if a person
In chemotherapy
Gets bruised,
They could damn well
Bleed to death?

What are you?
Blind?
Heartless?
A true coward?

I don’t care that it takes time.
I don’t care
That I loose 4 hours
Of my life
Twice a month.

Damn-it!
I’m doing what I can
To save someone’s life!

It’s a need
That never goes away.
The need for blood.
The need for platelets.

I don’t understand at all
Why so many people that I know
That are more than physically able
To do what I do
Twice a month
Simply don’t.

Why is that?
Because it takes some time?
Because it’s inconvenient?
Because you have to drive
To the donation center?
Because everyone around you
Thinks you’re stupid
If you do that?

I don’t understand.
And I’m damn glad I don’t.

I’ll bet there’s more
That I do that you don’t.
Yep.
I make a whopping
$12 an hour.
And on a good week at work
I get to work
For more than 20 hours.

Just rolling in the dough
Aren’t I?

There are more than 20 people
That I know.
Every face.
Every name.
I worked with them
For years.
Five days a week no less.

And several times a year
I take $20 or $30
Of the cash I make.
And I give it away.
To the Breast Cancer Society.

Damn, but it stings
To do that.
That’s two meals
For me,
And my lady
At Burger King.
That’s 3 meals
For my family
If we stay at home
And cook.

And I flat give it away.

I have nothing to say
About the people
I worked with.
Making $40 an hour
Or more.
And never giving one thin dime
To help another human being
Of any kind.

I flat don’t understand people.
And I’m damn glad that I don’t.

For as flawed as I am.
As many things
As I do wrong.

I’m glad I’m not like them.

So go ahead.
Criticize me.
Tell me all the ways
That I do things wrong.
Tell me how I never
Ever
Behave
In the way that I’m supposed to.

But until the day comes
When I see
That you have a heart and soul
That are still alive.
That I know
You are out there
In this life,
Trying to find ways
To help others
If you can.

I refuse to hear
One damn word you say.

So,
Go ahead.
Criticize away.

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