The Dirigible Balloon
Poetry for Children

Preparations with the Decorations

Listen to Niamh's poem read by Bláthnaid (sleigh bell loop via Audio Micro license)
My Mom got the Christmas lights out of their box
and they’re all tangled up in a heap.
So she asks me to help her unravel the knots
with my sister (who’s always asleep.)

My sister and Dad had Lights Duty last year,
they’d left a note, scribbled in pen:
they hated their job, as the message made clear
it simply said ‘NEVER AGAIN.’

So we all start to try to untangle the mess
with cries of “Be careful!” “Don’t break them!”
Mom tears at those lights with increasing distress
and more often than not, she would shake them.

With a mood that is dark, and a scowl that is real,
through teeth which are definitely gritted,
Mom continues to work with considerable zeal
and her eyebrows look terribly knitted.

That’s the thing with my Mom, she does not like to quit,
and these lights have become her archrival:
to impossible tasks, she will gladly commit
with an energy utterly tribal.

Through each twisted bauble, each desperate sigh,
Mom struggles, with no sign of slowing;
at times she would stop and look up towards the sky
and pray for a sec, then keep going.

And so it is time for a round of applause
as the lights are at last disentangled;
we each take a moment to chill out, because
our nerves are decidedly mangled.

Mom surveys the lights, holds the plug in the air,
plugs it in, with a confident smirk;
and when nothing happens, my sister declares:
“Oh yeah. They’re the ones that don’t work.”

About the Writer

Niamh Savage

Niamh writes poetry and rhyming stories for children, and likes to record them too. Her work has been published in The Caterpillar magazine. She is from Dublin, and works for Ireland's public service broadcaster, RTÉ, as a television broadcast co-ordinator. She has worked extensively in children's programmes over the years.