African American Poetry (1870-1928): A Digital Anthology

Claude McKay, "Skeleton" (1924)

All of your flesh has fallen away
Between the skin and the bone,
Muscle and bone dried down to decay,
Leaving frame-work alone.

And out of the bones themselves has leaked
The last reserve of marrow,
The army of germs its utmost has wreaked,
Nought's left of you to harrow.

There is winter in the air, see snow,--
Your bones are wintry hollow,
And one day when raw winds blow you'll go
Ere comes the first stray swallow.  

Published in The Crisis, June 1924

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