The Dirigible Balloon
Poetry for Children


We have to leave the smell in the hall.
We can’t pack the bumpy wallpaper
Or the way the back door squeaks
When you lean on it.
We can’t take the neighbours,
Or their cakes,
Or the closeness of the church bells
That ding dong their wedding song
On sunny Saturdays.

We have to leave the sunshine that
Joins me on my pillow before school.
We can’t bring the corner garden wind
And the way it sneaks past the bbq (we have to leave)
And into the kitchen (we have to leave)
To tell us our sausages are ready.

Love we have to leave!
Mum’s voice bounces off the ceiling
for the last time.

We have to leave.
I leave my breath in the walls
And sigh goodbye to the house
That will stay in my bones.

About the Writer

Rhiannon Oliver

Rhiannon is an actress, poet, workshop facilitator and playgroup leader based in Cardiff. She started writing for children in 2021 and has been published in The Caterpillar, Tyger Tyger, The Toy, The Dirigible Balloon, Northern Gravy, Paperbound, Little Thoughts Press, Parakeet, Buzgaga, and Launchpad (Australia). She has publications forthcoming in multiple anthologies. She has also written and created performance videos for The Big Welsh Rhyme Time (Book Trust Cymru) and her poetry has appeared on TV (Only Boys Aloud Christmas Concert, S4C). She is part of Literature Wales' Representing Wales 2023 scheme and is currently developing her first collection for children which explores Mental Health and Well-being.