The Dirigible Balloon
Poetry for Children

A Cabbage with a Good Heart

I’d never thought much about cabbages,
Until that day Gran sent us to the shop to buy
A cabbage with a good heart.
I hadn’t thought they had hearts
But why wouldn’t they, why shouldn’t they
Have good hearts?
And if they have hearts, do they also have feelings?
How must they feel that they are the MOST unpopular vegetable?
Most people I know LOVE potatoes.
My best friend LOVES carrots,
My brother LOVES beans
Peas are my favourite – but NOT the mushy ones.
I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say they LOVE cabbage,
Or even that they LIKE cabbage.

As we looked at the cabbages in the shop
I began to think they all must be very shy.
Most were curled up in a tight ball
Like smooth frightened hedgehogs.
Most were dark green, looking a bit queasy
Some were blushing - beetroot red
And some were white, like they’d seen a ghost.
And when I touched the leaves of one,
They kind of ....squeaked…
Like the cabbage was crying!
How would we ever choose?
How would we know which one had a good heart?

How do you know if someone has a good heart?
You can’t tell just by looking at them.
They might look nice on the outside,
But not be a very nice person on the inside.
You would need to peel off layers of cabbage leaves
To see what’s really in the middle.
They might look healthy on the outside
But be full of worms and slugs and bugs inside.

One cabbage with shrivelled leaves looked tired
Perhaps it had been in the shop the longest,
Waiting for someone to choose it and take it home.
Eventually we chose that one
As I thought it looked unloved.
Gran never sent us to buy a cabbage again.

About the Writer

Morna Sullivan

Morna Sullivan has always had a love of stories and has been reading and writing stories and poems since she could read and write. She is a member of the Coney Island Writers Group and a SCWBI member regularly attending the Belfast chapter meetings. She has recently taken over as SCBWI Regional Advisor (Ireland) leading a team of volunteers supporting children’s writers and illustrators across Ireland.