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Ruan Wright

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We Played Monopoly (for my brother, in England)
by Ruan Wright
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Rated "G" by the Author.
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Recent poems by Ruan Wright
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About the things we treasure

We Played Monopoly
(for my brother, in England)

Do you remember how we played
Monopoly the long days of summer?
You were always the racing car,
I was always the flat iron,
but I moved faster than you and
always got Mayfair and Park Lane first
and you ended up bankrupt or in jail.

Well, yes,
I did my time, too, but
I came out with arms full of 500-pound notes,
rows of hotels, utility works and railway stations,
and you’d get in a pet
and not want to play any more –
at least, not till next time.

Do you remember it the same way?
Can you smell the rosehips and flowering blackcurrant,
the algae on the pond at the bottom of our garden,
mum’s homemade lemonade,
dad’s pipe tobacco smoke,
Tim’s wet doggy rompings?

Probably not
does it matter?

Well, yes,
it does, now,
now that our childhood home is gone
along with our parents,
and our childish selves are buried
under the dirt of so many years of work
and child rearing and
trying not to go bankrupt or end up in jail.

Do you remember the smell that game had?
Sweaty palms, dusty attics,
boiled cabbage?

The box was bent at the corners
and had ruffles of yellowing tape from
so much mending, so much play.

The lid was wrecked from
being tossed around the room like a Frisbee,
or worn as a banker’s hat,
or made into a sled for the long-suffering cat.

Where did it go?

If we had it still
would you play?
Be a kid with me again,
brother and sister, loving and hating
in a Monopoly-scented tangle of
‘he did that’ and
‘she said what?’ and
‘he can’t be the banker!’ and
‘I don’t want to play any more!’


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Reviewed by Karen Palumbo 2/26/2008
Wha vivid images come to light while reading this lovely, heartfelt piece of a time we can only go back to in our minds....

Be always safe,
Reviewed by Cryssa C 2/26/2008
Hee, hee... Your descriptions are wonderful. Monopoly was my sister's game and she still has it... reveres it... the pieces must be counted before they are put back, carefully...carefully... Maybe it comes from having the same brother Charlie did! hee, hee... Monopoly has no thrill for me after being bankrupt so many times to our brother. My husband calls the game "Monotony" and refuses to ever play it... :~) But the childhood memories it invokes...well...that deserves another round of play!
(Check out my other childhood memory of my brother... "Neath the Trees of Yesteryear". It will bring you a chuckle!)

Cryssa :~)
Reviewed by Charlie 2/26/2008
I love this, Ruan. My brother was always the race car, I the dog, other siblings had other favorites. My brother was the ultimate monopolist. He'd buy us out with tons of cash, and pay us to keep playing-- free rides and promisary notes until he broke the bank...
I especially liked your descriptions of the lid, and the smells. It makes the memory tangible somehow. And you gave me a great idea for a new poem, too -- something about the child-me... Take Care. --Charlie

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