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Old Watches

Old Watches
    by Edmund Siejka

Of all the watches at the mall
It’s the old watches I like best
Antiques hidden in the back
Away from the brash newcomers
Rolex and Tag Heuer.

When I was a kid I watched grownups  
On early mornings
Carefully turn the watch’s small button 
Winding up its tiny moving springs 
Bringing the watch back to life.

In those days there were no quartz parts 
The old watches
Were marvels of human ingenuity
And old fashioned craftsmanship
Encased in brass
Tiny springs and miniature wheels 
Moving together in synchronized harmony.

My old watch still works
Moving effortlessly 360 degrees
Past the 12 
Down to the lowly 6
Marveling at its resiliency
That this thing,
This very old watch
Handed down to me a long, long time ago
Still keeps time.

Every so often I bring the watch
Back to the jeweler
Holding the old timepiece in his hand
He would solemnly say
“They don’t make watches like these anymore
The young prefer I-phones
To tell time
That’s technology for you.”

Each day 
More and more of the old timepieces
Are lost or forgotten 
In bedrooms where Grandparents 
Kept family documents
In dark dresser drawers
And faded photos 
Graced night tables.

Where are the old watches now?
Why just this morning
A practiced hand
Was needed to tenderly turn a watch’s small button 
And gently nudge the old timepiece back to life.


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  1. Date: 4/15/2015 8:14:00 PM

    I was born in the Casio age. In the third grade (mid-80's) as we were struggling with multiplication tables, one of my friends came to class wearing a huge watch with what seemed a million buttons...or perhaps it was tiny calculator with a wristband. In any case, I've never known a world without digital watches. I love this hearkening to a different time. Excellently makes me want to find and save an old wind-up.