Thursday, 6 October 2011

The Compendium of Games

In rote and rhyme and rattles
In small mimes and giggles and stumbles
These first games played out
In baby pink and blue
Then a hopscotch of summers
Stretched out over gardens and pavements
Beaches and street corners
Chased through recs and littered lanes
Older then and the games change
No more french skipping, cat's cradle and jacks
Now cards and the roll of the dice
All hopeful glance and wishful dalliances
A whir of bikes and skateboards
Until the rules
No longer drawn in chalk upon the pavement
Change and a new game emerges
Casino neons and smoky glare
The chance, the dare
A lottery thrill of winning big
The chase, the race
The nine to five cut and thrust
Navigating the profit and loss
Until the pieces move into place
And you have won or lost
And fortune's played your hand
Now the crossword
Now the quiz show
Now a quiet game of patience
As the clock slows

It's all boxed up now, in the loft
Those games we played so long ago
A compendium of who and where and when
And how life goes