The Dirigible Balloon
Poetry for Children


We have to leave the smell in the hall.
We can’t pack the bumpy wallpaper
Or the way the back door squeaks
When you lean on it.
We can’t take the neighbours,
Or their cakes,
Or the closeness of the church bells
That ding dong their wedding song
On sunny Saturdays.

We have to leave the sunshine that
Joins me on my pillow before school.
We can’t bring the corner garden wind
And the way it sneaks past the bbq (we have to leave)
And into the kitchen (we have to leave)
To tell us our sausages are ready.

Love we have to leave!
Mum’s voice bounces off the ceiling
for the last time.

We have to leave.
I leave my breath in the walls
And sigh goodbye to the house
That will stay in my bones.

About the Writer

Rhiannon Oliver

Rhiannon is an actress, writer, workshop leader and mum from Cardiff. She graduated from RADA in 2004 and has performed with companies such as Shakespeare’s Globe, The National Theatre, BBC and Sky 1. Rhiannon started sharing her poems in Spring 2021 and has upcoming publications in Nawr Magazine, and anthologies with Nine Pens Press and Arachne Press. In June 2021, she was named Spoken Word Runner-Up in Poetry for Good, a national poetry competition celebrating key workers. She has recently started writing poetry for children and is currently working on a rhyming middle grade adventure story.