This Breath – a poem by Thomas R. Smith

This Breath

This breath is
a silver road
my life follows
it has an end

It doesn’t belong to me
it’s borrowed
no one owns it
or ever will

This breath
had no voice
until it
found me

This time
this time only
it carries my sound
and no one else’s

You know an instrument
can only sing
when it’s picked up
by a musician

You who come after me
won’t know my name
still you’ll take
this breath and sing


Thomas R. Smith lives in Wisconsin, USA, and have seven published collections so far, and was included in Diamond Cutters, edited by Jay Ramsay and Andrew Harvey. He has also edited several books, most recently Airmail, the correspondence of Robert Bly and Tomas Tranströmer, published in the UK by Bloodaxe. Windy Day at Kabekona: New and Selected Prose Poems is was published in 2018. His first prose book, Poetry on the Side of Nature: Writing the Nature Poem as an Act of Survival, is forthcoming from Folded Word Press in 2020.


  1. Mark Tulin says:

    Good job on The Breath, Thomas


  2. Carl Mayfield says:

    “This Breath” is an intriguing poem. The pace and tone are pitch perfect, erasing the isolation we all feel at times by offering us a fresh breath.


  3. Bralowski says:

    ‘This breath is a silver road’…Nice imagery


Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s