A Poem on International Nurses Day 2024 – by Tony Rogers, Queen’s Nurse

Nurse do you know
Who I am
More importantly
Who I was
I am more than you
Ever suppose
I am more than the tick box
On your computerised
Nursing care plan
Does it say there
Upon that display square
Who I loved
Who I danced with
Who I played with as a child
What my passion
In life has been
Even though I am now
A recluse
Does it say
About my childhood abuse
That now repeats
In my twilight years
By people who should know better
That my heart is failing
Not mechanically worn
But years of emotion
Have taken its toll
Does it say on my
Rehydration chart
I may need much more
Because of my tears
Does it say on my dietary intake
Feed me with kindness
And don’t my dignity take
Morphine can’t dull the pain
Of the loss I feel
But hand on mine
Eases it just fine
Don’t call me love
You haven’t earned that
Right Yet
I’ve been a mother a daughter
A sister a wife
But I’ve never been
Anyone’s pet
I know you mean well
Honest I can tell
Nursing is not just a job
To you
It’s a vocation
A calling
You can’t take exams
In kindness
There’s no degree for that
When you have time
To look up
From your paperwork
Don’t look down
On me
Meet me eye to eye
And perhaps
You’ll  begin see me
And I’ll get to
See you

Photo above: Mrs Rogers, Tony’s Mum. ‘She was a Nursing Auxiliary at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital many years ago. My children were admitted there and that’s when I saw a male nurse looking after them. This was the moment I decided to become a nurse myself.’

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