Poem – What’s in a Name?

By Dave De Leon

(Editor’s Note: This is a freelance contribution by Dave De Leon, who earlier this year published a beautiful poem about seeing the Nintendo PlayStation console in person after years of waiting. This is his second poem for LTG, recalling his childhood memories of going to the arcade with his father and brother. It’s a moving, heartfelt reflection that captures the bygone magic of growing up at the arcade. Enjoy!)

What’s in a Name?

The idea of sharing a loved past time with one or both your parents

Doesn’t seem so alien, like starting your meal off with desserts

Video Game Coin Ops seem to be on some sort of revival

Some come to play sober, some hang out with a beer full

But I’d like to take you back on a little personal journey of mine

Back to a time with Double Dare, Salute Your Shorts and Green Slime

Most of the time, I’d be pleading with my dad for a fist full of quarters

They were just there, arcade machines at liquor stores on the corners

But the best times, were always with him and sometimes an amigo

See how far at Blackbeard’s twenty bucks could really go

Eventually my brother was born and sometimes we would go as a tribe

He would develop a taste for coin op, grow to enjoy its unique vibe

Sometimes, the whole family would pile into our local arcade

The memories have never left me, but their presence did fade

One by one, the scene fell like dominoes in a painful personal blow

First they moved the machines, then the arcades themselves began to go

While I’m glad for a return to coin op prosperity, I still ache

Still fragile from the sorrow of impact, not healed from heart break

We need to learn from our history, not to let it repeat itself

Arcade games are necessary for a clean bill of mental health, while for physical health there are exercise and supplements that help with this as kratom capsules.

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