The Dirigible Balloon
Poetry for Children


Baboushka worked all night and missed the star.
She polished, scrubbed and swept the floor
until she heard the knocking at her door.
“We seek a place to sleep, we’ve travelled far.”

Three Wise Men said they sought a newborn king,
a baby who would save both heaven and earth.
“Come with us! All are welcome at his birth.”
Baboushka grinned. “I have some toys I’ll bring!”

At dusk, the Wise Men set off up the hill.
“I need to tidy up,” Baboushka said,
“I’ll follow.” But the men walked miles ahead.
She left too late; they say she’s searching still,
and thinking every sleeping girl or boy
might be the Christ, for each she leaves a toy.

About the Writer

Jacqueline Shirtliff

Jacqueline is a poet and primary school teacher on the Isle of Man. One of her favourite things is helping children to love poetry and reading and encouraging them to be writers themselves. She lives in a rose-covered cottage near the sea and enjoys gardening, crochet, and playing the tuba and harp, but not all at the same time! You can read some of her other poems in The Caterpillar, Tyger Tyger, Northern Gravy, The Toy, and Little Thoughts Press.