Lodestar Quarterly

Lodestar Quarterly
Figure reaching for a star Issue 12 • Winter 2004 • Poetry

you let someone in

Justin Thomas

You let someone in
Open the big, wrought iron gates
The ones that sport the No Trespassing signs
Beware of Dog and Trespassers Will Be Shot and
This Property Insured by Smith and Wesson
Pictures of snarling dogs and black revolvers
Barbed wire curling like a silver ribbon on top
Or sharp Christmas decorations

You let someone in
After they saw the red washed FBI warning
At the beginning of your faded, jumpy home videos
with the bad sound quality
After signing the non-disclosure forms and
Raising their right hand and placing their left
On your beating heart and swearing with their own eye
With blood and their family line
Not to clear cut your forests
Not to thrust all the bones out of your closets
Not to laugh, please, most of all, maybe
Not to laugh at what's inside the gates
And all subjects are innocent until at least
The full story has been told, heard, and understood

You let someone in and ask that they
respect the land
Do not take what you find laying about
Do not assume it's unwanted if it's
not neatly filed away and
Please, don't try to file it yourself
We have a system here
It would take years to explain

The management has it all under control so please
Leave it alone
Look but don't touch, don't move, remove, wash, clean,
Don't extract, excavate, pick apart, dissect,
Co-opt or otherwise pillage, mutilate, try to explain
Fabricate, colonize, materialize, exploit, anesthetize
Please just
Leave it be
We have a system here

You let someone in using every precaution
and still
They will find a way
To drop litter, carelessly
To carve their name into a sapling
Pick up a rock that surely no one will miss
And pocket it as a keepsake
or paper weight

You let someone in
Because you have to
You need to
Let someone

Justin Thomas (formerly Dani Kolling) is a FTM poet living in the East Bay region of California. His work has been featured in GOD's Work (50 Gallons of Diesel), Gravity, and Purr Magazine.

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