The Dirigible Balloon
Poetry for Children


I miss my old bed.
It had a mattress, a duvet,
two pillows and ladders.
Beds with ladders are the best.
You already know I love climbing
and climbing into bed like a fireman
made bedtimes EPIC.
Once I’d reach the top
I’d snuffle under the duvet.

Mum and Dad gave my old bed away.
I can’t climb into bed now.
Just like I can't become a wrestler, jump
off the big diving board or ride a motorbike
through a ring of fire. One more thing
I can’t do. Instead, I slide into bed
on a board. Stuntmen don’t slide into bed
on a board. They probably somersault from
a moving car.

One side of the board sits on my wheelchair,
the other on my bed and I shuffle across.

It sounds more fun than it is.

About the Writer

Stephen Lightbown

Stephen Lightbown is a poet who writes extensively but not exclusively about life as a wheelchair user. Stephen has been widely published and is the author of two poetry collections for adults: Only Air and The Last Custodian (both from Burning Eye Books). In 2023 he will publish his first poetry book for children through Troika Books. He lives in Bristol in the UK.