Game Genetics

After long days at the shore
Playing the ten-dollar game and riding waves,
Before the serious internet surfing began,
Prior to YouTube taking attention over, and
Commencing before the nightly reading,
We played Monopoly.
The games were a bit fierce,
A fictional account of real estate’s fierce existence,
Where we talked trash, made outlandish deals,
Suffered through jacked up rents, and
Made it through the hours to bankruptcy.

Today, landlocked in a basement cave,
Life’s clutter met post vacation energy restoration.
I took the advice from my hyperkinetic friend,
Capitalizing on the my own energy
To wage war with a stockpile of old photos I’d taken
Back when I thought I had a little Ansel Adams in me.
All those years ago, I printed many photos,
Some made it into frames, a few made me some money,
Most sat in boxes or baggies hogging precious square footage,
Until today, when I committed to letting them go,
Relentlessly, emotionlessly, with nothing but malice.

At first it was easy,
The marginal prints, the ones that never had a chance,
The unfittest, they did not survive.
Doubles, triples, why so many, gone, gone, gone.
Then photos of my childhood opened up,
Water damaged, blurry, or otherwise inconsequential,
Yep, gone.
Then I got to the tough ones, photos from my parents,
Back when they were younger than I am now,
I kept all of those.
They’re my parents, after all.

Then came my wife’s family photos,
An easy culling as well as they are all keepers.
So many repeats and I could see the photographer’s process,
Someone trying to figure out the lighting, the proper pose,
The best aperture paired with the appropriate shutter speed.
The photos were composed well, purposeful, artistic.
I could be so objective because I only know a couple of the people,
My entry into the family came late,
But I loved looking at the bloodlines,
How the old folks gave their genes, their mannerisms to my family,
All the way to my step-children. That’s pretty cool.

One amongst them all stood out, bringing a smile to us all
For recreation and fellowship run deep in this family
As my wife’s way old family enjoyed a game of…
Two weeks ago, we had not played the game in twelve years,
Now it seems there is some history passing time
Rolling dice and cashing in on fleeting wealth.
They are better dressed than our shore attire,
Even if all the ties are not cinched properly.
Hopefully, their fun was like ours,
Although, I hear competition was key…just like ours.



  1. I enjoy your daily blogs but this one was particularly poignant because I can remember clearly watching them play. My grandfather loved the game of Monopoly. He also ALWAYS wore a shirt and tie. In all the years I knew him I only remember one time seeing him without a tie on. He was trimming a tree limb. Thanks for the picture and thanks for alerting me the day before, but like I said I normally read your blog every day.

    Sent from my iPad


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