Monday, May 16, 2011

Files from the Courtship

When I was in third grade (or was it fourth?), I desperately wanted a Swatch watch.  It was deep in the Swatch watch craze and there was nothing more that I wanted but one (maybe two or three) Swatches.  Particularly, I wanted one with the flags of the world on it.  I think we had been talking more about different countries of the world in social studies.  (Does that date me?  I used to have social studies classes in my K-12 schooling.) My young mind was convinced that this worldly watch was the ticket to my place with the cool kids. 

When I broached it with my mom, she told me subtly that she did not think I could tell time without numbers.  I begged.  I pleaded.  I told her I would learn.  She insisted on the numbers.  I carefully composed my letter to Santa with clear directives. 

On Christmas Eve, my Aunt Cathi and Uncle Johny gave me a Swatch watch with large numbers on it.  I hated that damn watch.

I told that story to Dave during our courtship.  He chased down the watch and presented me with this poem.  Isn't he grand?

Ode to a Swatch
by Dave Snyder

I'm wound up tight,
If you pay too much attention to me,
You will be too.

I catch what files with my hands,
but always toss it back.

I'm in a band,
but make no noise.

My ancestors are stone,
Worshiped the sun,
But worked with shadow.

It was only after I opened the box that I realized the flags were not of the world.  Rather, they were of the boating world.  Yachting flags.  And for the record, I can tell time on it.


Amy said...

I still love swatches. I hate to admit it, but I bought myself 3 different ones for Christmas 2010 - one "from" each of my girls! Such a lovely story. I miss my first one - the solid black with no numbers and only gold hands. It was a sad day when it finally died.

Papa Bruce said...

Your Dave is a fine poet. Papa Bruce