What do you see school nurse, what do you see?

 Clare Squires 21 Mar 2019

Member Clare Squires was moved to share this with us saying “I loved the poems on the RCN Bulletin webpages and thought you may like one I wrote a while back for school nursing, basing it on the old ‘what do you see nurse’ poem I read when I first started nursing in the 1980s”.


What do you see school nurse, what do you see?
What are you thinking when you’re looking at me?
A dishevelled teenager with dip dyed hair,
Armed with a look that pretends not to care,
Referred by the school, they spotted the signs,
The razor blade marks I cut into lines,
The low self-esteem, my confidence is poor,
I have no voice, making it easy to ignore.
Challenging and distracted, difficult to teach 
Seemingly, it appears, impossible to reach.
Made-up eyes, tired from sleepless nights,
Trying to kip as my parents fight,
Listening to their cruel and drunken fights,
It makes me want to run away, take flight.
No one to care if I eat or if I get washed,
No one to care where I go to get sloshed.
Drawn on eyebrows, a skirt short and tight,
Evidence on my neck of an old love bite.
A history of chlamydia and pregnancy tests 
Imprinted on my records from the casual sex.
It’s clear to see all the hallmarks of neglect.
Remember, it might only be the one contact,
For the real me to be found, it’s yours to extract.
So see through the risky stuff and the look
And uncover the potential that the world has took.
The one that has dreams of being loved and respected,
The one I am so keen to have protected.
So next time, school nurse, I knock on your door,
Take notice, be mindful, don’t ignore.
Not a dishevelled teenager; look closer school nurse, look closer and see me!
Clare Squires

Clare Squires

School nurse

Clare is a school nurse from Bath.

Page last updated - 06/04/2020