Brenton Booth

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The Weirdo

He was transferred to
our school from another
school and was older
than us and already
had a full beard
he was tall but very
and walked with an
exaggerated hunch
he wore the same
thick black jacket,
army pants, and boots
every day regardless
of the weather
he never spoke
not even to teachers
but always got good
rumour had it he had
killed a boy at his old
school for making fun
of his clothes
but was never charged
through lack of evidence
everyone was nervous
when he was around
including the teachers
and tough kids
if he had killed, he would
do it again
he was a serious weirdo
everything about him
just wasn’t right
he was so different
nothing like a person
should be
but no one said anything
we were all afraid to
and it wasn’t until years
later I realized
the only one that wasn’t
dead back then
was him.

A Poem for the Old Man Without a Name

I’d get home late
every night
and all the lights
were off in his
building except
I’d look at his
window as I
walked up the
fire stairs to get
to my apartment
his building was
next to mine
I was always tired
from work
and I’d watch him
sitting on the edge
of his bed with a
whiskey glass in
his hand watching
looking like he didn’t
have a worry in the
like every single second
meant something
every night I came
home from work
he’d be there
with the light on
in the exact same
it was as if he were
waiting for me
to restore some hope
to things
after another completely
wasted day
though for the past
week the blinds have
been closed
and light turned off
today the blinds were
and all the furniture
was gone
and tools sat in the
spot he used to sit
and he is gone
and no one thinks of
him anymore
no one cares
I care
he was my light:
I miss that light.

Brenton Booth lives in Sydney, Australia. His full-length collection Punching the Teeth from the Sky is available from Epic Rites Press.