The Dirigible Balloon
Poetry for Children

Today's Pebble

Listen to Hilary's poem ...
Step on a crack, break your back;
Step on a line, break your spine –
But that’s not why I’m looking down
With my face scrunched up into a frown.
I’m looking for today’s pebble.

Yesterday’s pebble was spiky and light
And I think it once came from a brick.
It was orange and small and crinkly and bright
And ever so easy to kick.
Now I’m looking for today’s pebble.

Where are you, my pebble? You must be around-
If you’re hiding, you know that I’ll get you.
You can try to escape, to avoid being found,
But don’t think for one minute I’ll let you!
Because you’re today’s pebble.

There it is! Today’s pebble is winking at me
And it’s marble-smooth, shiny and round.
It’s got itself wrapped in the roots of a tree
And it’s sinking right into the ground.
I’m going to need a stick.

I ease the twig into the earth and I twist
And the useless thing snaps into bits.
So I go in with fingers and nails and then fist,
And at last it comes loose, because it’s
Today’s pebble.

I dust the damp earth off its smooth, shiny shell
And it’s speckled and beige like an egg.
And I know today’s pebble will roll super-well
And a tingle runs down my right leg
And I drop today’s pebble.

I kick it at last, and it wibbles and wobbles;
A rugby ball, weaving and turning,
And it lands on a crack and it bounces and bobbles,
And I run, kick, run, kick, my legs burning.
I LOVE today’s pebble.

Far too soon we’re at school and I stop and I pick
It up, wanting to keep this one - but ...
It belongs with the rest, so I take a drop-kick
And it joins them beneath the class hut.
Goodbye, today’s pebble.

About the Writer

Hilary Elder

Hilary was born, raised and lives in the Far North of England – though she has been to other places. She loves writing stories, poetry, articles, blog posts and postcards. She has work published in Tyger Tyger, The Caterpillar, Paddle Press, The Dirigible Balloon and Northern Gravy, among others. She writes for children and grownups; she’s not always sure which of these she is.