Mort Laitner

The Grapes of Wrath

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord;
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of his terrible swift sword;
His truth is marching on.

Glory. glory, hallelujah!

Glory. glory, hallelujah!

Glory. glory, hallelujah!

His truth is marching on.

“The Battle Hymn of the Republic” written by abolitionist, Julia Ward Howe and a favorite tune of Union soldiers during the Civil War.

Wine turns to vinegar.

Freedom goes up in smoke.

Do you remember?

The sweetness of Manischewitz,

when the fourth cup made your troubles fly away;

Do you remember?

Picking grapes off of the vine and

finding love on a blanket of grass;

Do you remember?

The campfire circles; passing; swigging a-mouth-to-mouth bottle of chardonnay;

Do you remember?

Decorating your room with Mateus bottles dressed in molten yellow, red, blue and orange wax;

I recall all of these sweet moments.

But now my bottle appears half empty—filled with souring wine.

I pour the last of the Moët & Chandon into the flute.

I watch the tiny bubbles climb the walls of the glass.

While they surface and pop, I sip and ponder, “How hard would it be to write a singular sentence with the words: Civil War, pandemic, the death of democracy, martial law and dictatorship within its borders?”

The grapes-of-wrath age is upon us.

And I fear our lives turning to vinegar.

And our dreams going up in smoke.

As his truth is marching on.

About the Author
Florida's Jewish short-story writer, speaker, film producer and retired attorney. He has authored, "A Hebraic Obsession", "The Hanukkah Bunny" and "The Greatest Gift." He produced an award-winning short film entitled, "The Stairs". Movie can be viewed on my TOI blog. ChatGPT says, Mort is known for his works that often explore themes of love, loss, and the human connection. Laitner has published several books , including “A Hebraic Obsession.” His writing style is characterized by its emotional depth and introspection. Laitner’s works have garnered praise for their heartfelt expression and keen insight into the human experience.
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