The Skin of Sleep

By Myra Sklarew b. 1934 Myra Sklarew
The skin of sleep
is thin. It will not hold.
Its contents stumble out.
A nub of bone
lodged in earth
at the bottom of a pit.
A stranger staring
down from the rim.
The skin of sleep is thin.
It cannot hold.
Lost names spill out.
Children engraved
in ash. A sea of blood.
Only you, tenderness,
stillborn, beneath
the skin of sleep.

Source: Poetry (March 2014).


This poem originally appeared in the March 2014 issue of Poetry magazine

March 2014
 Myra  Sklarew


Born in Baltimore, biologist, poet, and writer Myra Sklarew was educated at Tufts University, where she earned a BS in biology, and the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University, where she earned an MA. She began her career in the sciences, studying at the Cold Spring Harbor Biological Laboratory with Salvador Luria and Max Delbruck, and conducting research on frontal lobe function and delayed response memory in rhesus . . .

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Poems by Myra Sklarew

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Living, Death, Sorrow & Grieving, Youth

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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