“Dead mink are rising from their graves in Denmark after a rushed cull over fears of a coronavirus mutation led to thousands being slaughtered and buried in shallow pits—from which some are now emerging.”
– Jon Henley, The Guardian
Here is the rising of the vanished
fifteen million mink,
some luscious brown and ebony,
others snow white
or just raw flesh.
Most were gassed in chambers,
to accommodate the sheer scale
Strange, that it was the gasses
of decomposing organs
that lifted this mass of crumpled beings—
a dark scar in a sandy trench.
The mink, that clever phantom
(and the forest’s best kept secret)
is always unexpected,
as it was in the glen where I first saw her,
glancing the soft edge of a river.
Her smart face seemed almost-human,
and she was sweet as a song I couldn’t remember—
a mischievous child prancing about a temple.
And here is the evidence of our betrayal,
our rash crime rejected
by the dignity of soil.
Here is the ragged stream of pink
and black and ghastly amber,
calling out like some broken lover:
Here I am.
Gregory Wolff is an almost-PhD in philosophy turned organic farmer, writer of fiction, poetry, essays and children’s literature, and very proud father of two enchanted and half-wild children. His writing appears or is forthcoming in Chicago Quarterly Review, EVENT, Prairie Fire, The Moth, Terrain.org, Zone 3, Vassar Review, Writers Resist, and elsewhere.