Bereavement (After Mei-Yao Ch’en), George Freek

Dale Champlin, Bird Paper Doll 20, Collage, 2021

BEREAVEMENT (After Mei-Yao Ch’en)


In my comfortable bed
I dream I’m a crow,
flying over fields of corn.
But the sound of my alarm
wakes me like a blow.
The sun rises through fog,
but it brings no warmth.
Snow covers the earth,
and sadness overwhelms me.
Drunk last night,
I saw things clearly.
Today my vision is cloudy.
In a frozen wind,
no flowers sway. You’ve
been dead a month.
I drink coffee alone,
dully gazing at a new day.
Wherever you are,
I only know
you are very far away.

George Freek


Review by Erin Wilson

In “Bereavement” the poet dreams himself as a crow. One almost wishes he might be allowed to remain so, with freedom in flight, emancipated from grief. However, the alarm sounds and wakes the poet “like a blow.” Conscious in the waking world once more, the poet becomes overwhelmed by grief just as snow covers the earth. Grief, for the poet, is a natural phenomenon (as is fog, sunrise, nightfall or leafrot). In George Freek’s poems we are a part of nature.


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