The Dirigible Balloon
Poetry for Children

A Beetroot that Time Forgot

a beetroot sat very fat under earth
waiting for someone to move the turf
pull it out
what was taking so long
surely it was time to be picked
its once tiny clump of
underground seed clusters grew
knotty-round with worry
and yet
there were certain things it was
well ...
certain of

it understood that spring had long since passed
because plum-purple rain was no longer
splashing beets baby-breath shoots

then as
a gaggle of its dark-shined ruby leaves
strained to catch some light-hot yellow
and as
beet could feel a mob of lightning-fast
featherweight creatures make merry under
its deepening root-tangles
it figured summer had rolled around

so beet waited

and waited

till fresh on-the-move wind
dark-swirled pillow-piles of
fall sky-clouds

still it waited

by now
earthworms had all
burrowed down and coiled up into
slime-coated balls
for each had stopped slithering about
hoping hard winter frost
would soon play itself out

naturally other normal beets
had by now
found their way into baskets ...

but not beet

fact was
mother earth had other things in mind
she held on very tight so
no one could possibly uproot beet

and naturally
beet could do nothing else but
keep on growing

so it did —

it grew some more and then
even more
till it lost all track of time
it grew until
it was
the biggest beetroot on earth

now mother earth was very pleased
at what she had managed to grow—

a beetroot that time forgot

that's when she smiled
knowing very full well
that she
mother earth
never ever ever

forgets a thing

About the Writer

Zaro Weil

Zaro has been a lot of things: dancer, theatre director, actress, poet, playwright, educator, quilt collector and historian, author, publisher and a few others. She has been collecting American quilts for more than twenty years and has exhibited her collection variously in London galleries. She has written on quilts for Vogue, Elle Decoration, Traditional Homes and Interiors as well as numerous newspapers. Her poetry for children has appeared in many anthologies. She has written several books including a book of children’s poetry, Mud, Moon and Me (Orchard Books, UK and Houghton Mifflin, USA), Firecrackers (Troika) illustrated by Jo Riddell and Cherry Moon (2020 CLiPPA Award Winner).