| Children Poetry
posted January 28, 2023
He gave his all
The Ballad of Ole Blue
Ole Blue the locomotive on the Shenandoah Line
Attracted little work ‘cause he was way beyond his prime.
See, Blue he ran on steam like many others through the years
But then those wretched diesels came and kindled all his fears…
That he’d be obsolete and out to pasture he’d be put.
No longer could he bother folks with all that noise and soot.
They stuck him in the yard where ancient engines go to die,
And left him there to decompose for time had passed him by.
He used to be the workhorse of the Shenandoah Line.
His boiler was immense, and polished up he looked so fine.
And Blue was proud that he could haul about a hundred cars
All day beneath the searing sun, all night beneath the stars.
But now they’re only memories of splendid days gone by
As Blue sat rusting in the yard, but he refused to cry,
For still he held out hope that they would call on him once more
And promised he’d be ready for whatever was in store.
That time came soon enough for there was trouble down the line:
A train sat stalled upon the tracks with very little time
To push it to a siding lest another train came through,
With not a single diesel near, they had to call on Blue.
Of course, it took some time to get his boiler going strong,
And by the time he’d built some steam, he hadn’t very long
To reach the stranded cars before a freight train barreled through
And caused a great collision, better hurry now, Ole Blue!
Finally, he reached the train, came up to its caboose,
And coupled to its coupling, then pushed hard to bust it loose.
So little time was left before the next train would arrive
That Blue, he strove with all his might to keep the hopes alive.
It looked like he would make it, for the siding was in view,
He had to push it there before the freight came speeding through.
And then they reached the siding, but instead of veering right,
They missed it and continued straight which wasn’t very bright.
They wondered what had happened, it had gone without a hitch
Until the worthless brakeman just forgot to throw the switch.
The collision was spectacular. For miles all around,
Folks heard the huge explosion—what an awful, dreadful sound!
Ole Blue had done his best that day, he’s blameless it would seem.
Though not his fault, he ended up all smashed to smithereens.
Now Blue remains a legend, and it’s certain that he should
Because he’d come back from the dead, then died again for good.
Children's Poetry Contest contest entry
Inspired by the works of the children's author, Bill Peet. When my kids were young, they loved his stories. In many cases, the entire story was a rhyming poem. It always amazed me how good the rhyming was, and the meter was always perfect. This poem is very much in his style and is similar in some ways to Smokey which was also about a train put out to pasture. That story had a happy ending, though.
and 2 member cents.
We kept the books, and now the grandkids are enjoying them.
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