Minister of Milk

                                                                                                -- for Liam

by Andrea Witzke Slot

Minister  of  Milk,  Emperor  of  Many  Hands,  King  of  your  Rectangle

of Land, how you cry with constant need—such demands! Yet hear us at your gates, raising cheer, ready to trot our white flags into your castle’s curtain. We the faithful are going nowhere. We will keep watch as you sleep in the luxury of hours, lift your coat onto your shoulders when you shiver in the dark, chant for you in the early pale of morning light. Pope of All Religion, go on—lay your weary head on our shoulders when you feel sad. We will shield you from all that’s trivial—bills, meals, all that is work and all that is not. We will sing as we clean up your messes, bathe you in rosy waters, dress you in a royal wardrobe, slip slippered shoes onto your lotioned feet, take you on long  walks  in  the  cool  sunshine  of  your  perambulating throne. Tsar of a Million Spoons. Monarch of a Thousand Butterflies. Raja of Eternity’s Sleepless Nights. We see the scepter you carry and beg you to wave it across a sky of chariots. Not even 2 feet tall, mere ounces and single digit pounds, yet so mighty. Cry to us, your minions. In ministerial reign, and with the almighty courage needed for all that is yet to be seen by your beautifully cloudy eyes, a nation kneels at your petit pois toes, bends to kiss the very feet on which you’ve never stood.