Grape Juice is the Sweetest Juice! (a poem by Mindy Nettifee)

All preachers’ daughters know this.
After small lifetimes
of tasting it doled out in thimbles,
after pretending to understand it
as some sort of stand-in for pre-crucifixion toasting,
some faux wine hired to re-enact savior blood,

all it takes is the hottest day of the summer,
in an old church thick with mildewed hymn books.

All it takes is the Mildreds and the Rubies
and the Irenes to turn their backs long enough
for you to slip through the swinging kitchen door.

If you can get to the fridge door unnoticed.
if you can use your entire body weight to pull open the door,
its rubber seal sticking with Sunday school popsicles and ancient Tang.

If you can unscrew the lid without dropping it:

one big swig
from the Welch’s grape juice glass bottle
will make your head swim,

will teach you things about holiness,
they didn’t want you to know

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