The Big Engine Who Thought She Could Not

There was once a big engine that could, so she thought.

Until, one day, she decided she definitely could not.

Her eyes traveled along the track up the great, big hill.

The daunting task engulfed her; steam puffs went still.

She grit her teeth and tried to gather from inside,

But the biggest problem was that her fire had died.

All alone on her track and without support to be found,

Her momentum slowed, then her wheels made no sound.

They stopped rolling forward; they went completely dead on the track.

All the work and the fight had worn her thin; she felt her morale slack.

An incredible exhaustion seized upon her tired frame fast

Until she started rolling backward, her forward-part last.

Anxious panic set in. What should I do? Where should even I start?

The bend was nearing, so she gripped the track with all her heart.

She caught herself in time before hitting the deadly, sharp turn;

But, man, did that friction between wheel and rail begin to burn.

She held still and began to regain her steely, metal composure,

When something caught her eye down below the steep shoulder.

Up the steep climb a small engine came huffing,

Wheels slowly turning and steam clouds puffing.

The small engine stopped to take a quick needed breather,

And the bigger engine turned so she could clearly see her.

Then their eyes met and locked together in knowing;

The smaller was following where the bigger was going.

“You shouldn’t proceed…” the big one said. “This path is quite frightful.”

The smaller smiled and replied, “But I hear the view is quite delightful.”

“Plus,” the small train started then stopped and then continued to speak,

“I never knew an engine built like us could even consider going to the peak;

Then I watched you start climbing higher and higher!”

Silence fell; the big engine felt something stir inside her.

The little one to the big spoke again, words fast embolding;

The big one leaned in toward the little she was beholding.

“And it’s not just me who has been inspired by your acts…”

Just then more chugging was heard below on the tracks.

More engines were weaving and wending up the treacherous mountainside.

She watched these little trains climb, inspired by how they worked and tried.

“I’ve been at this all wrong….” The thought began to grow in her mind.

“I’ve been looking for help from the side and ahead and not from behind.”

Her gaze returned to the tracks she was desperately clinging upon,

“Maybe…” she thought to herself. “Maybe for them I can climb on?

Even if it’s only an inch or two farther that I can offer,

It’ll be one less inch or two they will have to fight for.

She closed her eyes and gathered up her remaining bits of strength.

“For them…” She grit her teeth, bore down, and powered a length.

“For her…” and she went forward…covering more distance!

What had begun to stir was a full-fledged fire in an instance!

And on the train chugged and huffed,

Engine strong and steam clouds puffed.

There once was a big engine that gave into thinking that she could not;

Until one day a smaller engine reminded her she could, so she fought.

Curves

I hold the curve of your face in the curve
Of my hands.
My course skin against yours young;
Yang’s coarse to soft yin,
Yin’s aged bronze to yang’s nascent tin.

I hold the curve of your face in the curve
Of my hands,
And I explore the unchartered territory of your eyes;
Wisdom searches among youthful vivacity,
Sorrow and regret met by innocence and tenacity.

I hold the curve of your face in the curve
Of my hands,
Look at me: I pray you never know the pain I do;
Energetic eyes bounce back, they sparkle and prance,
The eyes that know too much slow the dance.

I hold the curve of your face in the curve
Of my hands,
I know you’ll hide pain deep, away, and aside;
I’ve witnessed other teens who sit at my tables and chairs
Making me false promises of being aloof and without cares.

I hold the curve of your face in the curve
Of my hands,
Your face reflects to me what I hope: contentment;
A smile to cover the fear and confusion
Able to create, cause, and confirm the illusion.

I hold the curve of your face in the curve
Of my hands,
I never want to let you have your own suffering;
But what is the journey without the dark side of life,
How would wisdom ever be formed without the fire of strife?

I hold the curve of your face in the curve
Of my hands,
One more caressing moment before death pulls me completely in;
Fingers weak and frail, merely bones skin covered,
Recall the first day you they held and tenderly, nimbly mothered.

You hold the curve of her face in the curve
Of your hands,
Your course skin against hers young;
Yang’s coarse to soft yin,
Yin’s aged bronze to yang’s nascent tin.