My Rearview Mirror

By Krishna Advani
Picture source:
The following poem is on the deceptively rosy picture that the past often appears as in the metaphorical ‘rearview mirror’, seeming to be far brighter than the colours of the present.

CAUTION: Objects seem brighter than they appear.

my mom tells me that to

every thunderstorm my life weathers

there is a silver lining

that God has piped 

as though mine is the 

singular cupcake in his 

patisserie display — to adorn

and create with a hand 

as delicate as hope itself. 

so i nod along to her belief 

and agree in a manner as selective

as picking broken seashells on the beach.

as i nod along, though—

i try to believe that the people

who came and left, 

hail and fury, 

sowed seeds in the crevices 

of a broken trust 

that now blooms each winter. 

i hear her out, constantly 

thinking of my rearview mirror.

you see— my rearview mirror has this 

perplexing tendency to show all that is behind me 

in shades brighter than they were

when i stood amongst them.

the lanes and the skies

all seem painted

with a finer


and i know that looking behind is dangerous

because my fear serves as a constant reminder 

that if i dedicate one moment too many to the blue of the sky behind me, 

i will total the hopes i managed to 

squeeze myself into. 

and i know that it only takes a moment

for the irreversible to occur.

but i cannot take my mind off of how 

the picture of you waving goodbye

suddenly seems rosier in retrospect.

how your driveway, one day

opened onto opportunities instead of yearning.

and suddenly, all i could do was stare

at the sky in the rearview mirror

because i have this tendency 

to never catch the present in time. 

so as i gaze

and as i risk

i make peace with the present, 

actively watching it

distance itself from me.

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