Photography © Bonnie Matthews Brock



I watch my son walk down the street, coming home. His hood is up, one hand in pocket, the other
dragging his backpack behind, so that from the window nothing is in view to tell the
unsuspecting neighbor driving by that this boy belongs to this street. To this house. To me.

A teenager is a beast that longs for anonymity.
A teenager is unaware that the thing he longs for makes him terrifying.
A teenager is terrified of everything.

In his grey hoodie this boy is a ghost. A ghost as silent as this neighborhood.
A neighborhood so silent the wheels of a backpack ring out like a gunshot.


Helen R Broom, (nee Helen R Peterson), has been published in over 100 online and print journals, both nationally and internationally. She was the poetry editor of the small press print journal Chopper and the online journal The Waterhouse Review. Her first full length book of poetry, Melons and Memory, was published in 2012 by Little Red Tree Press. She is also the host and co-producer of the Poetry in the Bar Podcast and Open Mic series. Ms. Broom currently lives in Michigan with her husband, children, dog, and four cats.

Bonnie Matthews Brock is a Florida-based photographer, as well as a school psychologist. Her images have been published in Ibbetson Street Press, The Somerville Times, and Oddball Magazine.