The Taste of Leather

Sit and stare in horror and revulsion at the photo.

Jewish lips tasting humiliation.

Jewish lips trembling in fear of the bully’s punches.

Fear and humiliation scars our stomachs, like lashes on our backs.

Sit and stare at the photograph remembering the words of our bullies.

“Jew, hit the ground and kiss my feet!”

How those words sting.

How they destroy our confidence in ourselves, as well as the Almighty.

Our ancestors heard those destructive words.

Throughout the ages, they tasted, touched and smelled the leather:

The legionnaire’s Roman sandals;

The grand inquisitor’s embroidered shoes;

The Cossack’s brown riding boots;

The Schutzstaffel’s spit-polished knee-high black boots;

The Arabian’s gold embroidered curled-toe shoe;

The skinhead’s army boots.

Sit and stare as the photograph spits out promises and a prayer,

“Never again will I heel to my tormentors.”

“Never again will I kiss the feet of my oppressors.”

“Thank G-d for the State of Israel.”

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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