This is a poem I wrote a while back while volunteering at a school, working with young children on their reading skills. A couple of the children found out I write poetry, and demanded (ok, asked) if I could write a poem for them. I wrote this short poem while they had their lunch, and read it to them afterwards. At the time it didn’t have a title but the kids came up with ‘Bandstand Handstand,’ so I stuck with that.

Do share this poem with your children and let me know what they think. I’m interested in what you think too but find that kids are usually the most honest critics! If you would like to hear me reading this poem, click on the title for the audio version.

Bandstand Handstand

“Bandstand, oh Bandstand, tell me a story, if you can”
“Of course I can Sam, let me tell you about when I was the grandest Bandstand in all the land”

Sam sat down and offered the Bandstand a ham sandwich
The Bandstand declined politely by waving his (funny-looking) hands

“So, Mr Bandstand…”
“Oh please, call me Dan.”
“Did you see many bands, Dan?”
“Many, many bands Sam.  Brass bands, jazz bands, one rock band, and even some ladies doing the can-can – back when the summers were long and hot, the men wore hats and ladies carried fans…”
“Didn’t they want to lie on the grass and get a tan?”
“No Sam, that was before Chanel made the tan fashionable, but after that, yes, they covered me with sand, and the ladies put down their fans and tried to tan.”

Sam asked the Bandstand how he ate when he had such funny-looking hands…
The Bandstand ignored Sam.

“Once there was a lady who came and sang.”
“Was she as good as the bands?” asked Sam
“She was so good the bands had her banned ’cause they were afraid she’d steal their fans…
Now people just run around me in their sweatbands, no-one stands on me these days,
it’s like I’ve become some kind of no-mans land.”

Sam jumped onto the Bandstand, did a handstand then crash-landed and hurt his hand.
“Be careful,” said Dan in reprimand and began to wish he did have hands
because by now he’d become Sam’s number one fan and he wanted to help him get up.
Sam looked up.
“It’s ok Dan, I understand,” he stood up and brushed the sand away with his hands.

“I have to go now Dan,” said Sam, “…but I’ll be back.”
Dan the Bandstand smiled. “That’ll be nice,” he said, just like that.