Jeffrey McDaniel

Rookie (1967 / Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Ethel's Lament (Ethel Rosenberg) - Poem by Jeffrey McDaniel

for David Greenglass

'Cover your eyes when lightning flashes'
is what our mother used to say.
Now your pupils are hourglasses
filled with my ashes, as you drag

that sack of mustaches and cash.
We were siblings only in name.
What do you see when lightning flashes?
See how I've decorated your grave.

Fifty years you lived off my ashes.
In terms of history, you left your stain.
In your chest, there's just a beating rash,
an umbrella that dissolves in the rain.

How did it feel to swallow your name?
I am what you see when lightning flashes.
I won't let you sleep till you give back my ashes

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, February 14, 2008

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