Floyd Skloot

Breathing Room
July 8, 2013 Skloot Floyd

Breathing Room


Not every week,
but sometimes one night
a month, the four of us
were in the same room
and there would be
not quite peace,
not even truce,
but a time that felt like slow
release of the family’s held
breath, and I could feel
my heart begin to slow,
not enough to clear my head
but enough to remind me
not to move quickly,
not to speak, not even
to look up and risk
meeting someone’s eyes.

Floyd Skloot’s recent collections of poetry include Approaching Winter (2015), The Snow’s Music (2008) and The End of Dreams (2006), all from LSU Press, which will publish his ninth collection, Far West, in 2019. His most recent book is a fictional memoir, The Phantom of Thomas Hardy (University of Wisconsin Press, 2016).