objects in mirror are closer than they appear

By: Bruce Jay Baker

who am I and why am I here
chortled the Admiral on the debate stage
when running for office a long time ago, and counting

not that five out of seven generations living today would remember

still the questions hover agelessly, don’t they
like riddles lobbed by trolls at waystations
collecting unctuous answers in tolls
nevermind, they sigh, move on
what you think you believe is the high cost of living

so what does it say when the cool stars of my youth
are today shilling auto warranties and Medicare supplement plans

what does it say when back in my day
students hid under their desks
to ward off threats of nuclear annihilation
and still it’s done today
still it’s done today
only now to escape another kind of liquidation
the kindred kind

surveying my time from then to now
from guileless mornings of youth
to traumatic teen tears
to invincible myths in prime’s early years
to middle-aged politics of survival by day, and sometimes
safe harbors at night
to evanescent dusks burning less and less bright

moments pass on to memories
durable days transform into fragile reminiscences
somehow always seeming nearby to yesterday

and when the day finally comes
for our time-traveling frames to expire in ways
inexorably unexpected
and like breathing onto a mirror
and watching the breath fade away
we having reached for the answers and finding none, like our stars
fold one final time into the night
and fade into the fictions of tomorrow's histories

Bruce Jay Baker recently retired from a 44-year career practicing law and is now pursuing his lifelong passion for creative writing. He is enjoying his second act immensely and looking forward to a few good years of contemplating his time in time.

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