I am trying to stoke a fire
inside this engine
of muscle and bone.

It once trekked mountains.
It once carried them.
It danced, it leapt,
it whirled, it stepped
swift and sure and strong

but I have not used it;
I have let it laze and linger
and now it rusts.

The gears grind
when they turn.
They protest and pop,
they groan and grumble.

I have let them learn to ache
when the sun crests,
when the rain rushes in,
when the chill pulls it blanket up.

No more.
No more.

I have been swallowing tinder.
I am coughing sparks already,
I am knocking off the burrs
and oiling the joints already

and will soon be under way.

This poem was originally published under the pen name Gabriel Gadfly.
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