The Dirigible Balloon
Poetry for Children

An Empty Box

Here is a pretty plain, entirely empty cardboard box.
There’s nothing inside it, except your own thoughts.
One box can be a soldier’s helmet or a garden hat.
Or a genie’s lamp, or a bed for a cat.
Two boxes are shoes or bracelets or toes
Of a gigantic giant with your couch for a nose.
Three boxes can cover your head and your hands
As you explore in armor lots of faraway lands.
Four boxes are wheels for the fastest race car
Or hooves for your horse, or whatever you are
Riding to battle for the dragon’s treasure.
With a fifth box, you can set out to measure
The width of the Grand Canyon, or the height of Paul Bunyan.
Or you can build a really, REALLY big onion
To live in. With six, you can travel the world
In a mile-long train, with a caboose of gold,
That holds tuba-playing squids and the masterful kid
At the helm of it all: you! Just open a lid,
And you might be surprised to know
That with an empty box, anything goes!

About the Writer

Veronica Szczygiel

Veronica Szczygiel, Ph.D., is a writer and Director of Online Learning at Fordham University in New York City. She loves to hike and camp with her survivalist husband and their rescue dog Sonia. She gardens with her adopted cat Shadow in her magical urban backyard, bakes bread and fruit tarts, paints landscapes, travels, and reads avidly. Veronica has published in Highlights High Five, FAITH, Radiant, Busted Halo and other multimedia publications. You can find her work on her website,