Minks – a poem by Sylvia Karman


Barely dawn, I bring my sleepless weight
to the lake, but not even the tannic
fresh of balsam can toss it from me.
Then a few feet away a snout
pokes out from a pocket of roots.
She pulls free with three more
trailing in a velvet line.
They funnel into the sheep laurel, drowsy
with blossoms that barely tremble
from the slip of their skins,
sable so radiant, deep as mercy.
And as if that were not enough,
seeing four at once,
the last and smallest and most curious
stops, all still paws and twitching tail,
to get his fill of me until a chittering
calls him to dive into the laurel,
a gasp of musk in his wake.
I knew when you returned, my shadow mood.
You arrived weeks ago and unpacked with creeping deliberation
your dark luggage, thought by sinking thought, while I
minced about on sock toes in demanding silence.
But now I see—yours is thankless work,
delivering what’s needed.
Me, for one, to the gaze of creature kin
where I might throw off this dense, dull mat of distance
between me and splendor.

Sylvia Karman’s work has appeared in Delmarva ReviewBlueline, and Writing the Land, among others. She lives in the Adirondack mountains of New York and in central Maryland where she hikes and writes for the love of the journey. You can visit her at www.sylviakarman.com .


  1. Cynthia Pitman says:

    I love this poem. It’s beutiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. sekarman0319 says:

    Thank you so much!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. rosestrode says:

    “dark luggage” is so apt, as is the mink and her children as a bridge to splendor! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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