Issue No. 18, Autumn 2016

Julius Rosenberg Murmurs from the Dead
John Davis

Remember 1945. She didn’t do it.
She birthed our boys. She wanted to sing
on stage. She didn’t do it. She didn’t
type it. And the it. You know the it.
Her sister-in-law did it. But Ethel
didn’t do it. Thought they’d charge her—
force me to finger co-conspirators
which would save her. Yes I was a
communist. Yes I was a spy. I passed along
some inept sketches. At her trial she didn’t cry,
not the weak woman the judge wanted her to be.
You can shake a cloud like a blanket
let the mist spill out. And she didn’t
do it. No raindrops there. She didn’t do it.
It took extra jolts of the electric chair
to kill her. She was that innocent. She didn’t
do it. She birthed our boys. She did that.

John Davis is the author of Gigs and The Reservist. His work appears in The Beloit Poetry Journal, Cream City Review, Cutbank, Georgetown Review, The Laurel Review, The North American Review, Oxford Magazine, Poetry Northwest and Sycamore Review. He teaches writing, performs in rock and roll bands and lives on an island near Seattle.