• Whose Children?

              Gerri Harvey

    Whose children are those
    The ones with that hair?
    Or the ones who won't answer
    Except with a stare?

    Whose children are those
    The ones who smell bad?
    Whose children are those
    Looking lonely and scared?

    And whose child is THAT
    With the insolent face?
    Whose child is that
    Who won't stay in his place?

    I stand here and watch them
    The first day of school
    The rowdy, the moody
    The the very un-cool.

    I used to wonder
    But I no longer ask
    If there is a parent
    Needs taking to task.

    For I know that no matter
    In understanding I've grown.
    There are raw tender places
    Where spirit meets bone.

    I am a school nurse
    I can "see" past the skin
    And I know I must care
    From without and within.

    Open your eyes
    But see with your heart
    For nursing is science
    And nursing is art.

    Those children are mine
    Whether big ones or small
    They are yours, mine and ours
    They belong to us all.
    A Prayer for Children" by Ina Hughes
    We pray for children
    Who put chocolate fingers everywhere,
    Who like to be tickled,
    Who stomp in puddles and ruin their new pants,
    Who sneak Popsicles before supper,
    Who erase holes in math workbooks,
    Who can never find their shoes

    And we pray for those
    Who stare at photographers from behind barbed wire,
    Who can't bound down the street in new sneakers,
    Who never "counted potatoes,"
    Who are born in places we wouldn't be caught dead  in,
    Who never go to the circus,
    Who live in an X-rated world.

    We pray for children
    Who bring us sticky kisses and fistfuls of dandelions,
    Who sleep with the cat and bury goldfish,
    Who hug us in a hurry and forget their lunch money,
    Who squeeze toothpaste all over the sink,
    Who slurp their soup.

    And we pray for those
    Who never get dessert,
    Who have no safe blanket to drag behind them,
    Who can't find any bread to steal,
    Who don't have any rooms to clean up,
    Whose pictures aren't on anybody's dresser,
    Whose monsters are real.

    We pray for children
    Who spend all their allowance before Tuesday,
    Who throw tantrums in the grocery store and pick at their food,
    Who like ghost stories,
    Who shove dirty clothes under the bed,
    Who get visits from the tooth fairy,
    Who don't like to be kissed in front of the car pool,
    Who squirm in church and scream on the phone,
    Whose tears we sometimes laugh at and whose smiles can make us cry.

    And we pray for those
    Whose nightmares come in the daytime,
    Who will eat anything,
    Who have never seen a dentist,
    Who are never spoiled by anyone,
    Who go to bed hungry and cry themselves to sleep,
    Who live and move, but have no being.

    We pray for children
    Who want to be carried
    And for those who must,
    For those we never give up on
    And for those who never get a second chance,
    For those we smother.
    And for those who will grab the hand of anybody kind
    enough to offer it.
Last Modified on September 8, 2010