The Dirigible Balloon
Poetry for Children

Talking to Gramps

Listen to Carole ...
Great Grandpa says when he were a lad
nineteen and sixpence was all he had
there were no spare clothes to call his own
they were washed overnight and put back on.

The end of the month was a hungry time,
leftover crusts till the new month came
then once again on his plate there’d be meat
and he’d fill his stomach with all he could eat.

Ice patterns formed on his window pane
and stayed there till spring came back again
but in summer the kids played out till ten
when all the mums called ‘em in again

and happy he was all the livelong day
and he wishes those times hadn’t passed away.
He says Make the most of being a child,
oh, for those days of running wild,

of dens and gangs and climbing trees
of scuffing shoes and scrubbing knees
of friends and games and having a laugh
and on Friday nights the family bath.

All too soon you’ll be fully grown
and making ends meet for kids of your own
so, run along, lad, to the deep dark wood
I’d love to come with you. If only I could.

About the Writer

Carole Bromley

Carole was born in Middlesbrough in the UK and lives in York. She has had pamphlets and collections published and has also won a number of competitions, including the Bridport, the Yorkshire Open, Torbay, Poetry Space and the Bronte Society Literary Prize. Her poems for children have been published in The Caterpillar, in her collection, Blast Off! and in anthologies from MacMillan and Emma Press. She was the winner of the 2022 Caterpillar Prize. Carole will be tutoring a course on writing poems for children at the Garsdale Retreat in October 2024