Mandy Coe

Poems For Children

Busy Feet

Along the busy pavement
lots of busy feet.
Stand and look and listen
then cross the busy street.
Popping in the busy shop
to buy some food to eat.
Hopping on the busy bus
and wobbling to a seat.
Along the busy pavement,
along the busy street,
hopping, shopping never stopping,
busy, busy feet.

Mandy Coe
First published in 'Oxford University Reading Tree'
edited by John Foster

The Can-Can

When I dance
my blood runs like a river can,
my feet fly like the birds can,
my heart beats like a drum can.
Because when I dance I can, can
do anything
when I dance.

Flying over rooftops
I see my town below me
where everybody knows me,
where all my problems throw me,
where heavy feet can slow me.
But nobody can, can
stop me
when I dance.

My blood runs a race.
My feet fly in space.
My heart beats the pace.
Because when I dance I can, can
do anything
when I dance.

Mandy Coe
First published in 'Hot Heads. Warm Hearts. Cold Streets'
Poetry For Teenagers, Ed John Foster
Stanley Thornes Ltd

Sensing Mother

Dad keeps mum's favourite dress
deep in the bottom of the ottoman.
Sometimes, when he is at work
I stand listening to the tick of the clock
then go upstairs.

And propping up
the squeaky wooden lid, I dig through
layers of rough, winter blankets
feeling for that touch of silk.
The blue whisper of it cool
against my cheek.

Other times the school-test times,
and dad-gets-home-too-late
to-say-goodnight times
I wrap the arms of the dress around me,
breathing in a smell, faint as dried flowers.

I remember how she twirled around
like a swirl of sky.

When I am old enough I will wear it.
Pulling up the white zip,
I'll laugh and spin,
calling out to my daughter:
How do I look?

Mandy Coe
First published in 'Sensational Poetry'
edited by Roger McGough, Bloomsbury 2004.

Also published in The Works 4 (Macmillan)


She wished she could fly.
She wished for friends
who were birds and flowers.
She wished she wore a silver frock.

She wished she could speak
with a magic tongue.
She wished so hard.
She wished so hard.

Now she works
in a baker's shop.
She wears a white coat
and a netted cap.

She speaks the language
of man and dad
and at the end of each day
her feet hurt.

But she carries her baby
up to the stars. She sings to him
in the language of flowers.
He reaches to touch her silver wings.

Mandy Coe
First published in 'Fairy Poems'
Chosen by Gabby Morgan,
Macmillan Books 2006