The Dirigible Balloon
Poetry for Children

What is Wrong?

When Mummy asks me, “what is wrong?”
I wonder what to say.
I think of all the many things
that clog my brain each day:

I get left out at playtime. Ukraine is fighting war.
I’ve lost my favourite pencil. My aching legs are sore.
I miss my Grandad Roger. I want to be alone.
I really need a cuddle. Why can’t I get a phone?
I often feel like crying. My best friend moved away.
My sister’s such a baby. Is Covid here to stay?
I really want an Xbox. I’ve got a wobbly tooth.
I’m terrified of big school. I sometimes bend the truth.
My new shoes give me blisters. Sam said I’m not that funny.
Should I be scared of climate change? Can I still call you Mummy?
I want to keep my train track. I wish I was grown up.
I stole a sweet when I was six. I didn’t want that cup.
I sometimes look at picture books. I miss my dungarees.
Eliza’s such a loser. I’ve grazes on both knees.
I still like watching Paw Patrol. Why can’t we get a cat?
Polly got more cheese than me. There’s Sharpie on the mat.
There’s plastic in the ocean. Should I stop eating meat?
Why’s my bottom half way up, not underneath my feet?
I really want to keep that stone. I sucked at maths today.
Susie’s got two sets of stairs. You threw my sketch away.

When Mummy asks me, “what is wrong?”
There’s so much I could say.
Instead, I mutter, “nothing much”.
Then shrug and walk away.

About the Writer

Sue Lancaster

Sue is a children's writer living in South West London with her husband, two children and pet budgie, Buddy. Before turning her hand to writing, Sue worked in TV as a Production Manager and got her degree in Media Studies at the University of East London. She grew up in Clacton on the coast of Essex and spent much of her childhood writing stories and poems, playing with her three cats, and being tormented by her two older brothers.