The Dirigible Balloon
Poetry for Children


Listen to Jacqueline read her poem ...
Picture by Jacqueline Shirtliff
Picture by Jacqueline Shirtliff
Like a ghost,
our neighbour’s cat,
cautiously sniffing
at this and that,
slips into our house;
she thinks she’s unseen
but I know exactly
where she’s been.
As she stealthily tiptoes
through each room with care,
she leaves dainty pawprints
that betray just where
she’s picked out a pathway
on piano lid,
through the dust,
then, with a skid,
she’s landed on the lino floor
and padded softly
through the kitchen door.
She heads straight for our puppy’s water tray,
dips her paw, testing,
then stalks away.
Leaving a watery trail behind her,
she slinks up the stairs,
hoping no one will find her,
into the bathroom;
round sink and bath
there’s now a muddy,
pawprint path.
But the best clue,
that shows where her trail has led?
She is, like Goldilocks,
still asleep on my bed!

About the Writer

Jacqueline Shirtliff

Jacqueline is a primary school teacher on the Isle of Man. She is passionate about instilling a love of poetry and reading in the children she teaches and encouraging them to be writers themselves. She lives with her husband and youngest son in a rose-covered cottage near the sea, and when she's not teaching or writing she enjoys gardening, crochet and playing the tuba and harp, but not all at the same time!