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‘As Long As’

You can dye your hair violet or live in the trees,
you can paint funny faces on each of your knees,
you can bathe in a bath full of thick sticky slime,
you can do what you like – as long as you’re kind.

You can wear your pyjamas to dinner or tea,
you can plink the piano – no really, feel free,
you can shriek like baboons with their rosy behinds,
you can do what you like – as long as you’re kind.

And I won’t groan or grumble, I won’t moan or whine,
I won’t tell you off when you have a good time,
you can do what you like and I really won’t mind –
as long as,
as long as,
as long as you’re kind.

Laura Mucha is a London-based children’s poet. Her work has been published/is due to be published by Bloomsbury, Macmillan, Wayland, The Irish Times, The Caterpillar, Springboard Stories, Stew, SBWI Bulletin, Teach Primary and The School Magazine – and she recently won The Caterpillar Poetry Prize, an international prize for best children’s poem. As well as writing for the page, Laura enjoys illustrating, animating and performing her work, as well as collaborating with others to bring children’s poetry to life. You can read more of her poems at

“I wrote this in response to an assignment to write a children’s poem with a moral. One of the things I loved about the To Sea in a Sieve course was that Rachel Piercey’s excellent assignments led me to write poems I wouldn’t otherwise have written – and to introduce more variety into what I hope will one day form my first children’s poetry collection.”

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Elizabeth Watson