Sunday, January 10, 2016

Poetry Sunday

One of the great pastime pleasures of my youth was playing Monopoly. I would get together with my friends, many years before we understood the harsh reality of mortgages and utility bills, and we would spend hours - sometimes days - in marathon sessions of buying, selling, and trading. We'd sweat desperately over the rolls of the dice that brought us close to Boardwalk and Park Place, and hope that luck would cause our opponents to land on our properties before we landed on theirs.

This poem by Barbara Crooker brings back memories of those happier days ...

Monopoly: 1955 
by Barbara Crooker 

We start by fanning out the money, colored
like Necco wafers: pink, yellow, mint, gold.
From the first roll of the dice, differences widen:
the royal blues of Boardwalk and Park Place
look down their noses at the grapey immigrants
from Baltic and Mediterranean Avenues.
My grandparents coming from Italy in steerage
measured their gold in olive oil, not bank notes
and deeds. The man in the top hat and tuxedo
always holds the good cards. The rest of us
hope we can pay the Electric Company.
We know there is no such thing as Free Parking,
and Bank Errors are never in our favor.
In the background, Johnny Mathis croons
Chances Are from the cracked vinyl radio.
We played for hours, in those years
before television, on the Formica table,
while my mother coaxed a chicken,
cooking all day on the back burner, to multiply
itself into many meals. The fat rose to the surface,
a roiling ocean of molten gold.

Playing Monopoly is still fun ... more fun than paying real bills with real money.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow, when Musical Monday returns.



Mike said...

Maybe that's where I got my obsession with free parking. I hate paying to park.

allenwoodhaven said...

Nice poem. I played it in the 60's rather than the 50's, but the experience is the same.
I'll admit to having been a Monopoly addict as a kid.

Grand Crapaud said...

We played Monopoly when young too!

eViL pOp TaRt said...

...and no Get Out of Jail Free card!

Bilbo said...

There's still a Get Out of Jail Free card in the real world ... you just have to be rich enough to play it!