My Instagram bio proclaims "I'll beat you at dominoes." I was thinking about that this morning, and wondering why I felt compelled to include that braggadocios, but mostly facetious tidbit in the small space allowed for biographic information on a popular photo sharing app. Suddenly, I was writing a poem about playing dominoes with my grandfather, Bob. It took me about 3 minutes, as the memories rapidly flooded back and transported me to the time of afternoons and evenings spent around that old oak round table, Bob smoking Lucky Strikes in the beautiful south Texas ranch house with the brick floor, counting by fives as our arrangement of ceramic blocks snaked around the tabletop.
An Ode to Dominoes
We used to play, granddaddy and I
On an wooden table, near a window to the sky
Five, ten, fifteen he would count
Beneath the imposing 12 point buck mount
"Got a deuce six?", he would ask
I answered no, my chagrin unable to mask
"Shuffle that pile of bones," he'd command
I'd comply, turning the pieces with a delicate hand
"Play the spinner," he'd say
Instructing we children in his special way
Under a thick cloud of cigarette smoke
We'd listen and laugh, cry and joke
The tally was taken, the die was cast
I won, he came in last
How lucky was I, to be his kin?
After all, he always let me win.