Trespassers Shot on Sight

There’s a sign out back of my grandma’s garden

a sign that says:

Trespassers will be shot on sight

and though I’d grown up spending summers at my grandma’s

I was never sure what a trespasser was

till I was nine years old

for the first nine years of my life I walked in fear of being labelled a trespasser

and shot on sight

and even when I learned its meaning I still wasn’t sure its exact interpretation

to my grandma

I mean, I knew grandma related to me on both a literal and metaphorical level


I learned at a young age that most words are relative

even superlatives

even when used literally by a literal relative

can be misdirected

by a different set of eyes

I accept that

I have always feared accepting a chamber’s worth of bullets

anywhere on my person

and though I know grandma loves me

I spent sixteen years avoiding the back of her garden for fear of words I didn’t understand

words I never knew were just in jest

though I’ve never had the imagination as I did when I was a kid

I was too serious for my own good

is this what Nietzsche meant when he wrote:

Mature manhood: that means to have rediscovered the seriousness

one had as a child at play

I wouldn’t play in that garden as a child

cause I didn’t know the difference between a serious threat

and some serious sarcasm.

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